Meet Chema Skandal

Chema Skandal first projects his sketches onto a wall, then traces and hand paints it. (Photograph by Samantha Peña)

It’s day 10 for Chema Skandal, whose work is being featured in the mural project commissioned by Alderman Danny Solis on 16th street in Pilsen. His piece, Cucurrucucu—named after a Mexican song—is his first in Chicago.

The 32-year-old was hired through the Chicago Urban Arts Society to participate in the revamping of the 25th Ward. He’s been living in Chicago for just 3 years.

“This mural is about love,” said Skandal, a native of Mexico City. “It’s related to relationships and the struggle between lovers.”

Skandal began pursuing his passion as an illustrator and graphic designer after graduating from college in 2006. Since then, he’s been involved in projects local and abroad. His biggest mural can be found in Toulouse, France where he stayed as an artist in residence.

“Most of my works are about personal topics,” said Skandal. “I’m inspired by music and sometimes, political issues. It’s a mixture.”

Chema Skandal added phrases like “Amor es tormento” meaning “Love is torture” into his mural to help bring an understanding to his piece. (Photograph by Samantha Peña)

Skandal has also had the opportunity of getting his illustrations published in various magazines, but for the past year his latest joy has been teaching art classes to children at the National Museum of Mexican Art located on 1852 W. 19th St.

As for what the artist has planned next? He will be showcasing some of his new pieces during an art exhibition at U.N.A.M. Chicago.

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By Rachel Syms


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