Tinku wins 2016 Stencil Art Prize

Tinku stencil

Tinku wins 2016 Stencil Art Prize


Guatemalan artist Tinku has won the 2016 Stencil Art Prize with his haunting stencil painting ‘Tributo’ which pays homage to the indigenous women of Guatemala. The winner was announced to a packed room on Sunday 11th September, at the launch of Sydney Fringe Festival’s Off Broadway Hub.

“I don’t take this as an individual recognition,” said Tinku who accepted his Prize via a video speech. “This is also a homage and a way to give more visibility to the struggle of the Guatemalan people. In this instance today, the 11 September, is a very relevant date for me as it marks another anniversary of the death of my grandfather, who like many thousands, fought for a country free of oppression, exploitation and discrimination and therefore this is also for him and for them.”

Now in its eighth year, the Stencil Art Prize is the largest of its kind with 84 finalists from 21 countries competing for the winning title. The Prize was judged by Ralph Hobbs (Nanda\Hobbs Contemporary) and Tristan Chant (Copyright Agency|Viscopy). High Commendations were awarded to Tiera Boo (Australia), Mark Callaghan (Australia) and Mod Cardenas (Guatemala). The Stencil Art Prize will exhibit until the 25 September as part of Sydney Fringe Festival and is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 6pm. Entry is free. The Off Broadway Hub is a newly activated space located at 76 Pyrmont Bridge Road in Annandale.

Tributo by Tinku

“Let this stencil be a new homage to the life and struggle of the Guatemalan indigenous women, who continue giving us lessons of dignity and courage,” says Tinku. “My father took this photo of a Quiche woman, who walked amidst the morning mist on 16 May 1999.”

The 16 May 1999 marks the date of a constitutional referendum held in Guatemala which included four questions that were suggested in the Peace Accords. Among many objectives, the referendum aimed to prove Guatemala was a “multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic” country. It also sought to reform the role of the army, absolving it of internal security, allowing civilian courts to prosecute common crimes committed by army personnel, and allowing civilian personnel to occupy high positions of the Ministry of Defense. Whilst the No vote won the campaign overall, the Yes vote won regions with the highest indigenous population, consequently, the most affected by State violence during the war.

Tinku’s portrait consists of aerosol on canvas, and also features salt and soil gathered from Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Africa, El Salvador, Guatemala and other places hit by State violence and discrimination.

Tinku is based in Mexico City and has been making stencils since 2012. His work can be found on the walls of Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. In 2014 and 2015 Tinku was awarded Highly Commended in the Stencil Art Prize.

Previous winners of the Stencil Art Prize include David Soukup (USA) and Monstfur (Poland) and Australian artists E.L.K, 23rd Key, Miss Link and Ralf Kempken.

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