August 4th, 2011
Sandra Leiva Minero was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1986. She was raised in Mexico City, Mexico until the age of 8, and then came to live where she presently resides, in San Salvador, El Salvador. She is primarily a painter. Leiva is currently finishing her degree in Plastic Arts from the University of El Salvador. Her paintings are characterized by their color and her manner of representing form.
Image 1: Untitled. Leiva considers herself a late bloomer in art, though she, like Bolougne, carries it in her blood. Her mother’s parents were poets, the Guatemalan Raul Leiva and Salvadoran Lilian Jimenez. “It’s because of them that I’m very sensitive. I’ll cry for any reason,” laughs Leiva. But they didn’t have more of a direct effect on her artistic career until late in her academic formation. “My grandfather was the painter Camilo Minero. It wasn’t until I was studying medicine in the university and got frustrated that I began to flip through my grandfather’s books.” That book, among others, awoke her interest in art. She claims that she is still developing her style.
Image 2: Untitled. Leiva delineates the main divisions in the Salvadoran artist community as, “old school vs. youth, and modern artists vs. contemporary artists.” Leiva explains, “My deepest desire for the future of the artist community here is that there be unification. Before being an artist, we are human. Many of these divisions we perceive aren’t worthy of consideration. You can’t even say, ‘I am (contemporary, modern, etc),’ because we are all beings in constant development; we are verbs.”
Image 3: Untitled. “What is the role of a young artist? To do what you like to do. To know how to choose. To be honest with yourself — you can perceive that in works of art, when it’s honest and when it’s not. To investigate and research. To be professional: to be committed to art, real, consistent and principled.”
*All photos and bios are courtesy of the artists.
Stay tuned for the third and final installment of “Emerging Art in El Salvador,” a Q&A with Renacho Melgar, a painter and the coordinator of a well-respected emerging artist collective, Colectivo Urbano. Melgar will speak about his art, the importance of community and unity in artists’ work, and criticisms of and hopes for Salvadoran art.