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Cardiff Character: Estevan Mortewsew

Estevan’s performance attracts lots of attention in Cardiff city center, by Jean LIU

Walking in the square of Cardiff city centre, you may find it weird that people are standing still staring at a sculpture. On second thought, no, it’s not a sculpture. The man sitting there without a chair is a human with an aeneous makeup in an aeneous costume. Estevan Mortewsew, a new performance artist in town, has been successfully attracting people’s attention and making a full tin of money.

Having been an artist for 20 years, Estevan has the confidence, experience and creativity to stand out. For the last two months, even though only working on weekends, Estevan nailed the performance on the street and quickly became a symbolic and identifiable face of the street artist.

He decided to be a street performance artist 3 years ago. Before that time, he worked as a painter in a gallery of Spain. He resigned afterwards because of his higher artistic pursue. “Artist needs a free space to imagine and be creative. We don’t need a boss. I want to open up my eyes, travel around the world and learn from my journey. I can be my own boss and working in any country. That’s the best job in the world.”

Cardiff as a destiny

Born and grew up in Ecuador, educated and worked in Spain, travelled around the world, Estevan seems to be a rootless cosmopolitan. “I have seen the world. I have been to Paris, Rome, Beijing, Las Vegas, New York, London and so on. Paris is a wonderful place for artists to make a fortune. But it didn’t feel like home.”

Although travelling to numerous countries, Estevan choose Cardiff to be his destiny. “I fell in love with Cardiff the moment I saw it. Besides I’m 34 so I need someplace to relax and establish my career. Cardiff is a peaceful place with a great tolerance for performances”, he smiles, “I won’t move any more. Cardiff is home. ”

He makes enough money to live in Cardiff though only working on weekends. People are more generous approaching Christmas. But he became more cautious towards this topic: “I can make a living but I won’t talk about money. It’s a respect to other artists in the street. ”

Restraining as a secret

People always get stunned and amazed when seeing him sitting in the air. But he is not doing magic. “It’s just a trick. People can’t sit in the air”, he laughed, “and I have a device under my left trouser leg. I designed it and made the whole outfit for 500 Euros in Spain.”

The device is not the only secret that makes him a sculpture. “The actual secret is to restrain and keep static. I never move and blink during my performance.”

 “It’s the most challenging thing. My secret is to imagine you are doing yoga,” he crosses his hands in the chest, “first clear your mind and relax, then hold your breath, slow down your blood flow, restrain yourself to a status that almost still.”

No matter how difficult it is, he sets high standards for himself. “It’s not easy. But it’s the job I do and I love doing it,” says Estevan.