Mamanimamani

You know how every country has its ultra-common lastname, that half the population seems to have? The cliches like Smith in the Anglophone world, Nguyen in Vietnam, Lee in China, Jansen in the Netherlands or Rodriguez among Hispanics.

Well, despite being a South American country, Bolivia is a bit different in this respect (all though Rodriguez is still up there in the top 5 somewhere). The indigenous population is a decisive factor here, making names like Quispe, Choque and Mamani extremely common as well.

bolivia_facts_art_artists_famous_people_roberto_mamani_mamaniOne particular man called Roberto, presumably with both a mother and a father with the last name Mamani, is who I want to introduce to you today. Roberto is an artist, best known as Mamani Mamani.

His art is colorful, fun and childlike, but at the same time so very complicated it might make your head hurt. I go back and forth trying to decide if I would want to hang a (replica of) a painting of his in my home some day and right now my answer would be a full hearted yes.

Take this one, for example:

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I can only imagine what a piece like this must look like up close, without being handicapped by pixels or color muddling digital screens.

It’s a man, it’s a mountain. It’s the flora, the fauna and the cultural essence of the Bolivian highlands; all in one. The colors clash with each other in perfect harmony. It captivates me so that I can’t help but embark on an instant daydream, up that winding road straight to its core.

It’s actually quite strange as anybody who’s been to the Andes knows that the highlands are not exactly the most colorful places on earth. At the same time, these depictions feel completely accurate to me.

The world through my brother’s eyes

You know those people who can pick up any random instrument and just instinctively know how to work the thing? They just hoot, whistle, strum, tap or pluck a bit and then… there you have it: beauty!

1780253_418645348272979_443952143_o.jpgMy eldest brother is like that, but not with music (even though he did play the trumpet for a while, in his teenage years). He has the eye. He looks at completely mundane situations and suddenly feels the urge to get on his knees and take a few shots from a funny angle. Yes, he is a passionate photographer and a bloody good one, if you ask me.

Of course I am biased. He’s my big brother. I grew up looking up to him (in the most literal sense as well as figuratively speaking). He never does anything without at least one honest attempt at becoming really good at it and often succeeds. He has top sport mentality that he applies in every aspect of his life and I have nothing but respect for him for that.

But enough talk, let me show you his stuff!

There’s the beautifully cliche…

…the awe-inspiring…,

…and the artsy fartsy:

I know he loves the artistic experimental stuff most of all, but he’s done some wonderful wedding and commercial photography as well.

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Check more of his pics out on Flickr, drop him a message on his Facebook or give him a friendly tweet, if you like what you’ve seen! Also, let me know what you think in the comment section, so I can pass it on.

His own website, Photgraphie TB, is in French, but it’s all pretty self explanatory and totally worth a visit.

A good weekend to all of you!