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Fairytales In Color

Fairytales In Color

Fairytales come in different forms. In the hands of Mexican artist Manuel Flores (Mafloku) they are expressed through painting.

And just as fairytales from the land of Grimm gave us the purest and simplest expression of our unconscious, so do Mafloku’s paintings offer us clues into our collective psyche.

Painted in watercolor, at first his scenes appear light and airy. A closer look reveals there’s more there than what meets the eye.

An example of their mystery can be seen in no veinticuatro, in which a masked girl holds the detonator for sticks of dynamite:

Mafloku’s Images resonate like scenes out of a distant childhood. They ignite long forgotten and primal memories.

How is it possible for such simple and clean images to accomplish so much?

According to Mafloku, ”The only thing I do is let the ghosts we all have inside speak in color.”

Indeed, his images are both innocent and vaguely malevolent.

When we asked Mafloku how he would describe the intent behind his paintings, he said, “I´m asked about this often. In the most general sense, people want to know what they mean, what they say, and why. But the most valuable thing, much more than my intention, which is irrelevant, is when the beholder explains them to me.”

In fact, there’s much to puzzle over, as with no diecisiete, in which a corpse in a top hat sits at a cash register as money flies out of the drawers.

The surprising thing about Mafloku’s trajectory is that he only began painting recently, and had no formal training. Yet the images and his composition are extremely sophisticated. He explains that in his multifaceted career – working in finance, both for the Mexican government and the private sector— he was very successful. He felt, however, that something was missing.

In just two short years Mafloku’s paintings have caught fire. Mafloku says, “I’ve been very positively surprised by how my audience connects and interprets my work and how particular pieces make people feel. What makes me the happiest of all is that it detonates something in the viewers and owners of the pieces. This is what it is aimed to say and represent, those things you may feel either consciously or subconsciously but can’t quite put a finger on it, and unknowingly you might even share with those around you.”

Indeed, Mafloku’s work offers us entrance into a mysterious world. Apparently a community of people have been responding in the same way. For more of his work, visit his collection on his website at

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