Christian Bendayan (Iquitos-Peru, 1973)

ChristianBendayan is an example of a contemporary artist that gives us some symbolic elements on which to build a trans identity, because he presents a true copy of reality instead of a hidden version, and at the same time transforms it, showing us marginal people having colorful and happy lives.

His style is rejected by some people who consider bright colors are not pleasant, especially when they are part of a hair salon or a tattoo parlour for the people who live and work in trailer parks. Bendayan uses urban and popular iconography to create his own style. But also he has a different sense of aesthetic, one in which day to day life is reflected.

As Buntix said:

“Christian Bendayan fills his paintings with images and materials that are from different sources of Peru. In his paintings fine oil painting and bright colors of latex or varnish work alongside each other. For some people This diversity is vulgar [1]”.

In Bendayan’s work he joins what seem to be impossible: academic tradition and popular aesthetic. We could talk a lot about Bendayan’s style, but we are interested in his approach to his image of trans people. His paintings are open to diversity, to the ‘other’. In an interview when asked about transvestites in his artistic production, he says:

“I pay attention to the opposite genders that exist in every person, and in my paintings, somehow, I initially used transvestites to represent realities, but later they became a fictional representation. Then I tried to paint the personalities of transvestites”. [2]

In Peruvian painting, Bendayan is one of the few artists that use transvestites and transsexual women in his paintings. Some of the most famous paintings in this topic are: Amazonas and When sun is falling down. [3]

DiegoOtero defines three groups of paintings in Bendayan’s artistic production:

“Firstly, transvestites and their plays and masks, joy and appearance. In this work transvestites are represented as courage and sorrow, fantasy and reality. Secondly, paintings that represent amazonic myths, transformed into a contemporary vision. And, finally, paintings called “the Sunday bunch” (Domingo de Ramos) [4], that are portraits of family and popular aesthetic”. [5]

Transvestism is possibility of fantasy and drama, is colorful and shadowy.

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[1] http://www.ciudadaniasexual.org/expresiones/Bendayan-buntinx%20folleto%5B1%5D.htm

[2] http://www.arteperu.com/es/agenda/especiales/christian_bendayan.htm

[3] http://www.arteperu.com/es/agenda/especiales/christian_bendayan1.htm http://33bendayan.blogspot.com/

[4] It is also refered to the first day of Holly Week.

[5] http://www.elcomercio.com.pe/edicionimpresa/Html/2007-09-20/imecdominical0787780.html

Artist's Gallery


The purpose of Trans World secretariat is to connect all the activists groups around the world who are working on transgender, transexual or transvestite issues.

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