Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves is a self-taught artist from Querétaro, México living in Chicago since 1997. He has been sharing his knowledge with youth and adults through workshops in community centers, parks, and schools around the city and suburbs since 2004. Piloto’s art can seem dark, surreal and decadent, but in the darkness, there is a light, in the surreal a reality, and in the decadent he wants to show that we have the ability to lift ourselves up and exist in harmony with nature and ourselves. He believes that “we are all artists at birth because, being a creation ourselves, we have that as our essence. However, as life progresses we lose our inner artists because of criticism and fear that society gives us. For me, a true artist is the person who hasn’t lost memory and uses an empty space as an opportunity for expression."