We had the good fortune of connecting with TERESA BRACAMONTE and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi TERESA, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Over time, I have permanently taken risks that have defined my life.
I think that in general we artists live in constant risk. In the uncertainty of not being in control of anything. That is why an artist must have a lot of inner strength.
I have always chosen to get out of my comfort zone to meet new challenges. Although I studied plastic arts and nowadays I am basically dedicated to painting, during the previous 7 years I only did photography. All my projects involved risks because they dealt with people and urban areas marginalized from society. Many places were dangerous and even forbidden to the public.
But the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life has been moving to Paris in 2017. I left the comfortable life I had in Peru (friends, family and even my boyfriend back then) to pursue a dream and start from scratch at the age of 28 on the other side of the world. Another language, another culture, other codes. The dream of being an artist and making a living from my art.
I went to get a Master’s in photography and Contemporary Art at Paris VIII University, but actually, it was a good excuse to leave.
Many times I thought I was totally crazy, but today, 4 years later, I think it was the best decision I have made so far. As an artist and as a person, I have grown a lot. It has been and continues to be a complex path, but I have been fulfilling my dreams one by one and every time I get closer to where I want to be. I always wanted to be an artist and live in Paris and today I can say that I do. I live and produce my art there; I have had several photography exhibitions and I even have my first solo painting exhibition on March 8th (International Women’s Day) with the gallery I am collaborating with (Hatchikian Gallery).
Currently, when I look back, I do not regret anything. Even the hardest times I’ve been through were worth it because they made me stronger. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I believe that you can have several lives and reinvent yourself whenever you want. That is the wonderful thing about existence.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What distinguishes me from others is that my creation/art arises essentially from my life experiences and encounters with others. I love people and I like to build and create with them. For example, when I do portraits painting, I ask my models “how would you like to be immortalized?” I let them choose their poses and be themselves. While I direct the scene, I never seek to be in absolute control because I like to capture the energy of the moment.
What makes me most proud, although it sounds contradictory, is the fact that I left my comfort zone in Peru to go chase my dreams. To remain firm in my path as an artist, although there have been very difficult moments. Achieving my Master’s degree in Paris against all odds: I worked for a living, I studied, I prepared my thesis, I created my art and I did exhibitions, all at the same time.
For me it was a great achievement when I presented my solo show “Triunfadoras” in Madrid (2019) which was part of the ARCO art fair circuit when Peru was the guest country. I did it while obtaining my Master’s degree and everything that I have described above.
Several times my close friends asked me “How can you do all that at the same time?” I don’t even know how I did it exactly, I just knew that I had to achieve it. I think it is willpower. Everything is a matter of believing that it can be done. It is an effort that one must make on a daily basis. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will do it for you.
I believe that dreams exist to be fulfilled and we must make them happen. It is obvious that alone it is impossible, and I am very grateful to have people who have helped me along my way.
If I had to summarize my story in one sentence, it would be: “Make it happen.”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have lived in Paris for the last 4 years but right now I am in my hometown, Lima, Peru, where I lived my whole life before going to France. I came to see my family after 3 years of not visiting my country. I will stay until January 2022 working on my new painting series about the beauty and diversity of Peruvian women.
By coincidence, a friend of mine who is French, but lives in NYC, came to visit me recently, one of his dreams was to visit Peru. I made him stay in Barranco, my neighborhood, which is considered the most hipster neighborhood in Lima. Many artists live here, and it is a neighborhood full of colors, art and magic. There are designer shops, art galleries and all kinds of artistic expression workshops. In addition, it is facing the sea. In this neighborhood, it is something special to take a walk, lose yourself in its streets or have a drink. You are inspired all the time, while you feel the sea breeze.
As for museums, if you are a lover of pre-Hispanic culture (which is my case) you should go to the Larco Museum. It has 45,000 pieces from Ancient Peru. When you visit the museum, you experience more than 5,000 years of Peruvian history before the arrival of the Spanish. It is fascinating. In addition, it has a very nice restaurant/bar where delicious pisco-sours (the typical Peruvian cocktail made with pisco, which is our traditional liquor) are prepared.
It is an excellent plan to visit the museum and then have a pisco.
This 2021, for the eighth consecutive year, Peru was awarded as the best culinary destination in the world at the gala ceremony of the World Travel Awards 2019 (WTA), considered “the Oscars of Tourism.” So, it is essential for anyone who comes to this city to take a culinary tour and discover the variety and delights of Peruvian food. We also have two restaurants (Central and Maido) that are among the top 10 restaurants in the world on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
But leaving famous restaurants aside, there are too many restaurants to discover here: I have always thought that in a city where you eat very well, you can enter almost any food place without having to be expensive or famous and it is delicious. That’s Lima.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to three people, without whom I would not be the artist that I am today. To my father Carlos, who taught me to be a dreamer and who encouraged me to be an artist: He always told me that if you dedicate yourself to what you like, you will do well in life, so I was never afraid of being an artist.
To my mother Angelina, who taught me to keep my feet on the ground and seek perfection in everything I do.
To my friend Christian Guillermo Sotomayor, who taught me to photograph and who accompanied me for several years in performing my photographic adventures. Thanks to him I learned the art of photography. But more than teaching me to photograph, he taught me something much more important: That everything is possible. To be persistent and never give up.
He taught me that when there are obstacles, you must work even harder. He gave me the motivation to be stronger.
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