Introducing Esteban Ferrales

Murals are one of humanity’s oldest artistic expressions. They date back to Antiquity and were popular throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, expressing religious or royal scenes. Now, murals are commonly found outdoors in places to honor the local community and its history. For muralist Esteban Ferrales, murals offer a way to bring to life the unique flora and fauna of Central America and the Caribbean among the streets of his current residence, Curaçao. Much of Ferrales’ work is a specific type of mural: wall reliefs. This sculptural technique consists of carving the three-dimensional, or volume representation, of an image onto a two-dimensional support. Relief carvings are classified as either high, medium, or low, depending on the intensity of depth between these two planes. Ferrales’ work sways between medium and high relief as his figures appear to project off the wall, allowing Ferrales to show more details in his foliage and animals. When using high relief, Ferrales also creates the illusion of perspective as the foreground contains more depth and detail than the static background.

Wall reliefs have made Ferrales a master of many branches of art-making. Each relief comes from a mixture of techniques and materials learned from the plastic arts, painting, engraving, and sculpture. Each of his relief murals is made with polychrome cement, meaning once Ferrales shapes the cement upon the wall, he then paints over it. Together, the polychrome’s vibrant colors and cement’s rough texture create a truly unique mural that emphasizes the beauty of nature. 

“In [relief murals], I can express my love for art. I can be a painter, sculptor, and shaper at the same time, and I enjoy each work and the challenges they bring.”

His Story

Born in Cuba in 1975, Ferrales engaged with art from an early age. He was intrigued by the various forms and textures he could use in creating and enjoyed experimenting with new techniques and materials. His artistic process comes from trial and error as well as learning from and collaborating with other artists and friends. As a self-taught artist, Ferrales lives and works in Curaçao, where he has recently completed several private and public projects.

“For me, art is not essential for human life, but the arts are part of our nature. I enjoy the act of creation.”