Santa Fe-based artist Tigre Mashaal-Lively creates large-scale interactive sculptures influenced by Afrofuturism, solarpunk, and mycopunk.
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Tigre Mashaal-Lively, a multidisciplinary artist who moved to Santa Fe in 2019, creates monumental sculptural and immersive works that address both individual and collective trauma and healing.
Informed by their own experience as a Black, mixed-race, genderqueer artist, Mashaal-Lively, who uses they/ them pronouns, works to transcend and dissolve dichotomies and boundaries through sculpture, painting, and other media. Their art practice is heavily influenced by Afrofuturism, solarpunk, and mycopunk. “My work reflects all my lineages,” says Mashaal-Lively. “But it also reflects my own experiences with depression and anxiety.”
The artist’s best-known work includes an interactive, figurative twenty-one-foot sculpture titled The Solacii, which was damaged by suspected arson in 2021. It’s since been refurbished and reinstalled, even as Mashaal-Lively has been working on other projects, including a recently installed steel public art sculpture called CoyoteSong, which explores the complex relationships between overlapping communities such as humans and coyotes.
For this year’s Burning Man, they’re creating an interactive sculpture titled Facing the Fear Beast, which is conceived as a child confronting a nightmarish beast. Inside the beast there’s a wounded child living with fear, trauma, and aggression. “People will stand with the child, stand in solidary with them,” explains Mashaal-Lively. “It’s a way to create a sense of compassion and help people process their own experiences.”
Mashaal-Lively also works to amplify other voices in the community. The Earthseed Black Arts Alliance they cofounded centers Black voices and fosters collaborations with Black and Indigenous artists. “The activist and artist community is complicated in Santa Fe, and I can see a lot of generational trauma among the colonized and the colonizers,” they say. Still, Mashaal-Lively expresses hope amid humility. “I exist because of all my ancestors who were able to move through those challenges; I have a home here.”