May Pulgarin: Murals, Masks & Chocho Power

Aka Tropidelia - creating her own matriarchal movement, one drawing at a time



Artist May Pulgarin is as talented as she is motivated. Driven by a desire to confront the limitations enforced upon women in society, her work naturally shouts out matriarchial messages with monstrous rebellion. Bold pink bodies, tongues and tits dance across May's walls, introducing us to characters alight with fearless femme power.



With limitless energy, May creates across multiple disciplines including street art, costumes, print design, and illustration. Having developed a style that is both bold and bright, firey and fun, we were thirsting to hear more about the inspiration behind May's work. In this interview, we learn about the counter-cultures which May is motivated by, particularly the Zapatistas uprising in Mexico. As well as her journey into becoming the self-made force of creativity we witness today.


 

Hello May, we love seeing the colourful world of your studio.

Can you describe your work to us in three words?


Transfeminist, Acid, and Transgressive (violating or challenging socially accepted standards of behavior, belief, morality, or taste). It’s also very Sassy! For me, the colours are very important and that’s what I call acid, a tropical psychedelic palette.


What helps you get into the creative flow?


The thing that helps me get into the process of creating is trying to go against the norm. I’m very inspired by the counter-culture, the transgressive movements. So I try to create in relation to them, to the corporal and racial dissonance, the movement of women and transfeminists, and the independence of countries like Columbia and South America in general.


I help my creative flow by doing whatever the fuck I want!


I have this desire of doing whatever I want with the body, from the body, the daring body! I see the way the body is diminished, so instead, I exaggerate the form, I make the body exuberant. It’s BODIES AGAINST POLICE.



Do you feel your upbringing in Columbia, and then moving to Madrid, has influenced the way you depict the body?


Yes, completely. My principal inspiration is Columbia because they are super sexist toward the female body. Latin girls are deemed exotic and so I take the way they sexualise us and transform it, I break the concept and create a new one - to do whatever I want. My body is my body.


Latin girls are deemed exotic and so I take the way they sexualize us and transform it, I break the concept and create a new one


Name your sources of inspiration?

The women in my family are especially important for my work. It’s a family of strong women but their strength is to take care of the family. From a young age, you are expected to become a mother. So I take this strength and I put it towards my creativity, to express my feelings through art.


You’ve also been involved in performances, what are those experiences like?

The first time I performed was with Venga Venga in Brazil. It was an amazing collaboration, I created the costumes and performed on stage with them, responding to their music. I love how it brings a hybrid of disciplines together and you create a whole concept that’s multilayered.