Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado has enveloped the exterior and interior walls of a tobacco factory Caguas, Puerto Rico in swathes of multicolored paint. Entitled “Kalaña”, the polychromatic intervention is part of the artist’s wider “Cromática: Caguas a color” project, which sees Maldonado collaborate with six other artists to revitalize unused buildings and spaces through and for the use of art.
Covering the site in vibrant shades of color, Sofia Maldonado transformed the factory from a place of abandonment to a cultural springboard for community engagement. With a new lick of paint, the building became a host to workshops, presentations, lectures, musical performances and tours, all centered around the dynamic new palette of the factory’s architecture.
“My work is mainly inspired by colors and also by the Caribbean way of living; just experiencing light and color,” explains Maldonado. “The project itself is not just painting an abandoned building. It’s also the idea of having an agenda. It’s a different format of how a public art piece can also become a creative and educational hub.”
The project is located in a community where tension exists between local Domincan and Puerto Rican populations. “Kalaña” was imagined as a meeting place and community focal point where youths and adults alike could come for creative motivation, to fuel a localized sense of commonality. “For me, it works as a piece when it’s activated’, continues Maldonado. “When there’s people in it: that’s the piece.”