The Chroma Art Film Festival’s inaugural event offered a plethora of sights, emotions, and immersive experiences, but one installation that captivated the audience was by the artist Dani Maya.
From Medellin to Miami, An Immigrant’s Tale
Dani Maya, originally from Medellin, Colombia, unveiled an installation that was deeply personal. Drawing inspiration from the ‘Monstera’ plant, which grew prolifically in his homeland, Maya sought to transform its significance. In Colombia, the plant was dubbed “balazo,” translating loosely to “shootout,” a grim reflection of the country’s history of violence and conflict.
With this piece, Maya aimed to bring that history into a new light, giving it a fresh context. By repurposing this symbol of strife into an emblem of beauty and joy, he wished to turn it into a comfort zone, free from the haunting memories of the past.
The Essence of the Installation
The artwork, named “When Two Things Touch,” delves deep into Maya’s feelings of living between two cultures, of being neither fully Colombian nor entirely American. This duality of existence is mirrored in his artwork – an abstract yet illustrative piece that symbolizes a jungle of stories, allowing viewers to dive deeper with every look.
For the first time in his art journey, Maya introduced light into his work, resonating with the idea of vibrancy meeting reflection. This use of light was symbolic of hope, of positivity shining through the cracks, reminiscent of his own journey from Medellin to Miami.
Creating for Humans in a Digital Age
The festival, as articulated by its director, Haiiileen, was made for humans. In an age dominated by AI and digitization, the festival offers a haven for physical human interaction. Maya’s piece, with its roots so deeply entrenched in the human experience, perfectly aligns with this ethos.
A Celebration of Artistic Growth and Collaboration
Maya expressed gratitude for the support and resources provided by the festival, which encouraged him to experiment and challenge himself. The Chroma Art Film Festival not only showcased artworks but also fostered collaboration within the art community. It provided a platform for artists like Maya to connect, grow, and inspire.
As the festival curtain draws to a close, Maya’s piece stands as a testament to the transformation power of art, the resilience of the human spirit, and the promise of a brighter future. With artists like Dani Maya leading the way, the future of immersive installation art looks radiant indeed.
Introduction: In an intimate conversation within the heart of the Chroma Art Film Festival, we had the opportunity to sit down with artist Dani Maya to discuss his unique installation and the inspirations behind his mesmerizing work.
Q: First off, Dani, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Dani Maya : My name’s Dani Maya. I’m sitting here amidst my installation for the Chroma Art Film Festival, a piece deeply influenced by my Colombian roots.
Q: We’re currently inside your installation. What inspired this particular piece?
Dani Maya: The piece stems from abstractions of the Monstera leaves. In Medellin, Colombia, where I’m from, it’s referred to as “balazo”, which translates to “shootout”. It’s about taking that history of violence and recontextualizing it to create beauty, joy, and comfort.
Q: That’s incredibly powerful. Can you delve into the significance of the holes in the artwork?
Dani Maya: Yes, the holes are abstract representations of the Monstera leaf. They’re distorted, extended, stretched, and flipped, embodying a micro-to-macro concept.
Q: How does your background influence your work, especially considering the theme of war you’ve mentioned?
Dani Maya: The piece is titled “When Two Things Touch”. It’s a reflection of my life as an immigrant, straddling two cultures – not fully Colombian nor American. The artwork represents this dual life, creating an abstraction that viewers can delve into.
Q: This festival emphasizes human interaction in the age of AI. How does your work tie into that theme?
Dani Maya: My installation allows humans to engage, reflect, and find pieces of themselves within the work. It’s a tactile experience that digital screens can’t replicate.
Q: You’ve introduced light into your work this time. Can you share the thought process behind that?
Dani Maya: This is my first time using light, and it’s symbolic. The vibrancy meeting the reflective surface grows into a different language, representing hope shining through the cracks.
Q: Being a part of the inaugural Chroma Art Film Festival, how does it feel collaborating with a museum dedicated to immersive art?
Dani Maya: It’s invigorating. This venue being so interactive challenges artists, including me, to think outside the box. This is my largest piece to date, and I’ve loved every part of the process.
Q: Lastly, what are your hopes for the future of the program?
Dani Maya: I hope it continues to provide resources for artists and fosters a tight-knit community. Since moving back to Miami, this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with other artists and further my creative journey.