Kru Cece is one of our beloved art teachers. Of Paraguayan and American descent, Kru Cece first sharpened his mural skills in Brasil then later Paraguay and the USA. Eventually, he found his home in Thailand.
All of this has informed his style which is a mixture of world culture and heritage through a tropical lens.
He paints both real and imaginary people, mostly shown through a fictional island nation called Kilombu.
It is a civilization of his own design, where all of his characters live. The people he paints and the language that accompanies them are accumulating and being written into narratives with the hopes that they will soon interact with each other through literature and educational programs as well.
“What is being communicated in my work is very subtle and in general, there is a pensive and deep undertone hidden beneath the surface of the story of Kilombu. I like characters who portray stoicism and patience and my large portraits usually contain strong eye contact or contemplative side glances. These deliberate pauses in my work symbolize tropical resiliency around the world in response to marginalization and cultural erosion that has come from globalization and post-colonial policy. Kilombu functions as a world that can imagine an ecological and cultural utopia in the tropics while also answering ‘What could multiculturalism look like outside the urban cosmopolitan setting?’”.
He explains, “I fuse my two loves together; anthropology and art. From my academic upbringing, I like to gather and analyze cultural knowledge about what it means to be human.
‘What could multiculturalism look like outside the urban cosmopolitan setting?
This is mostly a personal project for me. I work hard to produce artwork that is important to me and that can show my unique aesthetic and point of view of the world. When I first started painting, I was afraid to fail, of looking bad and what that would do to my self-esteem. Since learning how to follow through when things got challenging, this project has been a driving factor to help me get over my fears about life and this world. The way I see it; art will teach you not to get discouraged in life, and anthropology will encourage you to never stop learning how to live it.”