Juan Pablo Vizcaino
Born in Santurce PR in 1978 and raised in the small town of Loíza, Juan Pablo Vizcaíno Cortijo had an interest for the arts, music and traditions of his culture since he was a young child.
Raised on the banks of the Río Grande Loíza and its estuary, Juan Pablo grew up admiring and being inspiring by natures beauty, especially the mangroves, the power of the river and the majesty of the sea. He also grew up surrounded by beautiful cultural manifestations given that Loíza is known as Puerto Rico’s Capital of Tradition. Juan Pablo saw the picturesque and symbolic character of “el vejigante”, one of the principal cultural symbols of his people, as a defense of the magical village of Loíza. Juan Pablo started carving vejigantes in 2006 and continued to practice this art following in the footsteps of the master craftsmen, Castor Ayala, Raúl Ayala, Samuel Lind, Juan LuisSánchez and Carlos Ayala Calcaño.
Juan finds inspiration in all manifestations of Taino and African heritage present in his country. For Juan one of the most important aspects of his art expression are to respect and maintain Loiza’s and Puerto Rico’s art history and tradition and to perpetuate the presence of Taino and Afrocaribbean heritage.
With the likes of Vejigantes and other forms of art, Juan continues to put his grain of sand in the hopes of a better quality of life for all while striving to keep his culture, his roots, alive!