Mono González and his new mural in GAM: “We are looking for giving dignity and humanity to the public space”

In the opening of a disappeared mural of the artist Guillermo Núñez in dictatorship, the mural painter and founder of the Brigada Ramona Parra, Alejandro “Mono” González, talked with Arte Al Límite about the value of the piece and his work along with artists Saile and Matu in the recovery of a summary of the national artistic memory.

“Homenaje al trabajo voluntario” (1972) is the title of the original mural created by the National award of Plastic Arts winner, Guillermo Núñez, for the UNCTAD III building, current Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM). After the putsch, eleven pieces were removed of the space, among them, this mural. In order to recover part of the history and pay tribute to the career of Núñez, the center team negotiated for a wall at the exit of the Universidad Católica subway station for reinterpreting the work in hands of the mural painter Mono González.

Original work “Homenaje a los voluntarios” by Guillermo Núñez (1972) (Source: GAM)

About the beginnings of this collaboration, González says that more than a year ago he was thinking about intervening the wall. “Before there was a mural in tribute to Víctor Jara that I made, but then an artist arrived, sponsored by a shoe brand and put something else, without permission from the GAM, so they contacted me to do a new job in the space. I wanted to share the wall with other artists. ”

Thus, it was agreed with Guillermo Núñez to relaunch his mural on the outskirts of the building, in the upper part of the wall. For the lower part, the mural painter invited two contemporary artists dedicated to street art and graffiti, Saile (Iván Miranda) and Matu (Matías Noguera), to reinterpret the memory from the point of view of a new generation of Chilean artists.

Artistic team of mural

“This is a very busy, public place, so work has to do with memory, with how generations interrelate but also how we give the public space a vitality and content, which has nothing to do with the brands but with the concept of memory and ideas, “says Mono.

For the presentation of the final work last Friday, February 8, Matu delved into the content and meaning of the design. “We decided together to call the mural” Memorial to the memory “, as a tribute to recover the story We can see a woman, who does not know if she is dreaming or dying in her bed, as a metaphor of what it is to remember and recover those values ​​lost in dictatorship “.

“The wall contains these two different designs that share the same palette of colors, the same ones of the original work, to maintain a harmony between both, this is how the wall represents the same house for several inhabitants”, explained González.

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Past and present at the same place

Guillermo was grateful for the work of the muralists after seeing the final result. He recalled the history of the mural and the important harmonic integration that existed between the architecture of the former UNCTAD III with art. He also claimed that the censorship by Lucía Hiriart, wife of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, was extremist and that several of those works were lost in that period, with no possibility of redoing them.

Mono González also remembers those years. “This site is relevant as we are returning to a space we had previously occupied.” During the construction of the building, a long wall faced the Alameda, where we as a brigade and as artists painted many of our works. for the view you had, in the center, because before all the public transport went through Santiago, then it was a great showcase, ” he says.

Regarding the background of the piece, González highlights the values ​​of solidarity and community work that existed behind volunteering in the seventies, which has been lost over time. “Today we live in an individualistic, selfish society, where each one fights for its square meter. There is a change of values ​​that is very upset now, for example these goats (Sile and Matu) came to help here by trade, nothing else. public spaces and give them dignity and humanity, that does not transform the city into a disgusting dehumanized suburb”, he concludes.

“Memorial a la memoria” (2019)


Guillermo Núñez signature for the new mural

On other projects, the mural painter comments that he will continue working with Núñez in Persa Bío Bío, a place where some time ago they sold engravings and different works to the passers-by of the place, far from the most intellectual circle. In particular, it will continue with the projects of the San Miguel Open-Air Museum and the Urban art Festival: La Puerta del Sur. Guillermo, by his side and in conjunction with a team, is putting together his artistic archive.



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