Afro-Cuban artist displays his vibrant works in the streets of Warsaw, Poland

While mostly propaganda is plastered on the street walls of Warsaw, it was hard not to notice the raw portraits of Black people in a country where 96.7 percent of the population is composed of white-polish people.

35-year-old Orlando Lazaro Ortega was born a creative child. He transforms ordinary walls into easels for his vibrant portraits.

Interview with the Artist. 

“Why do you post your art up in Warsaw?”

Orlando: “I need to leave my footprints or let’s say fingerprints around in this neighborhood. It’s like ‘Hey I’m here!'”

“What gave you the idea to put the QR code?”

Orlando: “It’s the best way that I found in this moment to sign my work. I used to sign my name very small, but I wanted the people to know that I was making this work.”

“Why do you choose to make art?”

Orlando: “It’s one way of expressing myself. Also, it’s almost like a language because I can communicate my ideas with the people and I don’t physically need to be there.

“What inspires your art?”

Orlando: “Many things inspire me. It can be a moment, a mood, the weather… but the main thing that inspires me to do this work is because I want to change reality and reflect to others of what we can do and what we can change.

“What are some of your goals as an artist?”

Orlando: “My principle goal is that one day, I can make a living out of my art. Also, one of my goals is to make 75% of the projects I have pending; whether that be the idea that I want to do, a painting I want to do, or an exhibition that I want to do.”

“What’s next for you?”

Orlando: “In general, my next step is to promote my art the most I can. I think everything comes into your life at the right moment and step by step – but you have to do the work to receive what you want.”

As I look back on my first experience in Poland, I will always remember the kind person who proudly showed me around a city that felt so unaccepting of my presence.

He brings a light to this city through not only his art, but his personality that is composed of a vivacious joy for life.


Your Angel Ash ❤

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