Meet Roberto Mamani Mamani: Bolivia’s Best and Brightest Painter

Roberto Mamani Mamani
Roberto Mamani Mamani | © Courtesy of Ivan Orellana Flores
Harry Stewart

An indigenous Bolivian of Aymara decent, Roberto Mamani Mamani is widely regarded as the country’s finest painter. His vibrant and colorful artwork expertly uses Andean symbolism to tell the story of his fascinating indigenous traditions. Read on to learn more about this Bolivian legend’s history, artwork, and accomplishments.

Born in 1962 to an Aymara family in Cochabamba, Mamani Mamani started drawing and painting as a toddler when he was barely able to speak. Aged five, he left Cochabamba to live in his parents’ home town of Tiwanaku where his grandmother lovingly taught him about the traditions of their people.

Playing music for Pachamama

It was then that his artistic flair really began to flourish, as he started to paint colorful interpretations of his proud Aymara heritage. As a young man, Mamani Mamani moved to La Paz to study in the more profitable field of agronomy, but his love for art never dwindled. With no money to buy supplies, he used to draw sketches over the top of old newspaper clippings to ensure his skills remained intact.

The energy of Pachamama
The sun and the moon

As for materials, he insists on only using natural paints, including oil-based paints, which he mixes himself. Some works are done on canvas, while others use special paper imported from France. So as not to forget his roots, Mamani Mamani still sometimes sketches on old bits of newspaper, much like he did as a broke university student many years ago.

Art work

For a man who is completely self-taught, Mamani Mamani has had phenomenal success in Bolivia and on the international stage. He has been featured in 58 exhibitions since 1983 (52 of those entirely in his name), won countless awards and has been covered extensively in the international press. These days, Mamani Mamani spends most of his time traveling around the world to exhibit in cities like Tokyo, Munich, and London. When he is in Bolivia, he likes to visit local schools to encourage youngsters to pursue their dreams.

Cochabamba

One of his more recent achievements was designing the giant murals that cover the entire façade of the Wiphala community housing project in El Alto. The initiative was commissioned by president Evo Morales to provide dignified living quarters to some of the city’s poorest residents.

Wiphala community housing project

Originals, prints, and merchandise of Mamani Mamani’s work can be seen and purchased in the following places:
Galería Mamani Mamani, Jaén 710, La Paz, Bolivia, + 591 2 290 6294
Galería Mamani Mamani, Calle España Nro. 1248 esquina c/ Colombia, Cochabamba, Bolivia, +591 7979 7375

Tienda de Arte, Independencia #66, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, + 591 7308 2988

Merchandise
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article