With the Colorado Latino Festival underway in Boulder, La Vida Latina had the opportunity to correspond with one of the festivalís presenting artists. Angelica Jimenez, also known by her artistic name Xencs L. Wing, has been a force in Coloradoís visual arts scene for several years including being honored by Westword as the stateís best live hip-hop artist.
LVL: When and how did you begin your career as an artist?
XLW: I honestly never thought that Iíd become a visual artist. Iíve always been a creative person growing up, thanks to my parents who are brilliant, creative and supportive people. But Iíve never taken any art classes, Iím not a trained artist. I was always surrounded by different kinds of artists and Iíd sit and watch them create. My big brother Jose Jimenez, who is an artist, gave me some paint brushes, paint and canvases for Christmas one year. I was in my early 20s and I just went for it. I didnít put any pressure on myself about being perfect, because I knew that this was new to me. To my surprise, painting came naturally and that sparked a flame inside of me. Youíll notice that I use a lot of blues in my pieces, thatís because those are the first colors that I brushed onto the canvas. Friends and family pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and I started sharing my creations at art shows. I couldnít believe that people were buying my work.
LVL: How would you describe your art? How is it different from similar genres?
XLW: My artwork is Chicano/Hip-Hop/Mexican inspired. Because these roots are in my works, you may run into similar images in otherís work, but the difference is that I combine these elements to tell a story and evoke emotion with the tools that I have. Sometimes I create with the tools that I donít have. I donít always use a paint brush, maybe Iíll cut a piece of my shirt and use that to make a textured background. Iíve been known to also attach objects to my pieces.†Whatever it takes to tell the story that I want to tell.
LVL: As youíve grown as an artist over the years, what forms have you embraced? How has your process changed?
XLW: I started painting canvases, but at this point, Iíll pretty much paint anything that can be painted. Lately Iíve found myself making more jewelry out of my artwork and things that inspire me as opposed to paintings. My approach has been simple from the beginning, I make sure to follow my heart and my instincts.
LVL: You participated in the Colorado Latino Festival in 2017 and are doing so again this year, what do you enjoy most about the event?
XLW: The Latino Festival in 2017 was a wonderful experience. They truly support artists and they made it easy for me to participate. People reacted positively to my works, they seemed like they connected to the things that I had made and I couldnít believe how many hugs I gave out that day after selling my creations. Also, it was nice to be able to bring my son, who was 6 years old. He put out a couple of things that he painted and he sold his artwork for the first time. The way his face lit up was priceless. The food, the music, the people, everything about the Colorado Latino Festival was incredible. I felt like I was floating when I left the event.
For a full rundown of what is happening at the Colorado Latino Festival this week, visit the latinofestival.com. Xencs L. Wing will have her exclusive works on display on Sunday, for more on Xencs L. Wing including shows in which she is presenting visit her Facebook page.