López is known for her ambitious public art projects that have covered thousands of feet of her native Chile in mosaic tile. She loves the form because it makes an impact on the community and gives her a chance to go big. “With mosaics you can make meticulous work with tiny pieces and precious little details, but you can also use big pieces and make huge things, like murals, interventions in architecture, and urban art projects,” López says.
In 2012, she assembled a team to create mosaics depicting native flora and fauna on over 80 pillars along a metro train line in Puente Alto, a suburb of Santiago, Chile. Then, in 2014, López went even bigger: She organized the 1st International Urban Mosaic Intervention, a two-week-long event that brought together some 80 artists from 22 countries to create a massive mosaic on the facade of a municipal building in Puente Alto. López sketched out a basic design on the wall in chalk, but each artist was free to choose whether to follow her lead, to modify the design, or to deviate from it completely. The biggest challenge of the project was making the seams where one artists’ work met the next feel harmonious, but in the end, López was pleasantly surprised. “The result was much better than expected,” she says. “Friendly collaboration, compromise, and the talent of the artists made it possible to create something cohesive and beautiful. It was really magical.”
The generous notion of a mosaic as a catalyst for communal bonds, and a site where disparate components can meet, is at the heart of López’s practice. “You can use a wide variety of materials, from the most luxurious ones to recycled objects or materials collected from nature,” she says. “I mainly use ceramic tile, but I love to experiment and mix it with other things.”