In the rolling hills of Lima, Peru, colorful murals coat the sloping staircases that forge paths through the city’s diverse neighborhoods. An effort to beautify and celebrate the cultural history of each district, the painted stairs form part of the city’s endeavor to recognize art as an essential part of community development. Peruvian artist Xomatok took part in this tremendous project, translating his artistic vision onto 13 stairways in the hilly footpaths of Alisos de Amauta. In collaboration with local residents, the artist transformed the plain stairs of the neighborhood with geometric designs inspired by the vibrant motifs commonly found in handwoven Andean textiles, especially traditional shawls or blankets called llicllas.
The paintings were completed with the help of community members over the course of two months as part of a city-wide initiative promoted by the Municipality of Lima called Pinta Lima Bicentenario. Xomatok is well known for his ventures into urban art, in which he seeks to explore elements of color and the relationships that humans have with their environment. A reflection of these sentiments, the kaleidoscopic patterns of these painted stairs serve not only to transfigure the surrounding landscape but also the very fabric of the community that resides within it.
Scroll down to see images of Xomatok’s gorgeous designs on the painted stairs. You can also get a bird’s-eye view of the finished pieces on the artist’s Instagram.