Ignacio Gana: From a childhood dream to a goal


Ignacio Gana is Chilean sculptor, who based in Miami. His artworks are showcased worldwide in open public spaces, museums, or private collections. All of Gana’s works have strong narratives and represent his imagination with an appreciation for the human form. His inspiration comes from life itself. We talked with Ignacio about his childhood, career, and his work on the sculpture for the Ukrainian Embassy in the USA.

Ignacio, you're very successful in your career as an artist. Could you tell us about your hobbies as a child and what profession you have dreamed of?

I was always a dreamy child. I dreamed of being a firefighter, a car racer, a carpenter, a pilot. Furthermore, I was fascinated by any kind of machine, airplane, or big factories. I loved discovering and understanding how things worked, their mechanisms, parts. I was very observant.

My 7 siblings forced me to be self learner, to seek my own answers, and to discover my own path. This led me to be very reflective, to make my own decisions, and to choose my own path, to be an artist. I believe that my life shaped me into who I am today. To be able to dedicate myself with passion and love to what I like the most, to have the confidence to believe in my art, to be consistent in my way of thinking, and to be able to translate my gaze and thoughts into works of art.

You've mentioned that your inspiration is life itself. How do you manage to find something special in everyday life?

I believe life is full of precious details, magical moments. I like walking slowly, so I don’t miss any, walking with no music, so I don’t miss the sound of birds or waves. Additionally, I like to pay attention to shapes and colors, to situations that arise in front of me at every moment. I am a collector of images, a sponge of sensations and memories.

I love going to a cafe and draw, take a break sometimes, put all of those images on a paper. A new story I keep creating, story with an open ending. In which observer, through their personal perspective, ultimately completes their own work of art.

Each sculpture and installation is an open window to imagination, an invitation to take a break and be carried away by the poetry of the artwork.

Ignacio, tell us more about your latest collection “The Game”, ‎ which will debut in Miami in the early March. Why did sports become the main theme?

I love outdoor sports and enjoy nature as well as adrenaline. I used to compete in mountain biking - downhill. But now I’ve picked surfing as my new sport to connect with the water, along with skateboarding and snowboarding. I usually keep my boards in the car to take advantage of any spare time between workshops and galleries.

I’ve been thinking how it’d be for an athlete to have a basketball-related sculpture in their living room, when one famos NBA player bought a sculpture of a swimmer from me. That's how I started creating a collection of 80 works, including sculptures, installations, and photographs, all related to basketball, American football, and soccer. These works are made of noble materials such as gold, bronze, or giant marbles brought from Italy.

«The Game» will be a unique exhibition in the United States, where art and sport converge with the passion of both worlds. Such works are unprecedented until now. “Nothing like this has been done. It will definitely be my most conceptual and avant-garde work. I am sure it will mark the before and after in my career."

«The Game» seeks to generate a conversation surrounding the beauty and treasure hidden in the simple act of ‘playing’. Whether it is a ball, a glove, a bow, or a shoe, it seeks to embrace the spiritual and sacred quality of basic sport objects, transforming them into amulets which remind us of who we are, where we came from, and who we aspire to be.

What materials are you working with while creating “The Game”? How do you manage to combine different materials?

I think every piece of art asks itself how to best convey the concept or idea I want to express, as well as the technique. I believe everything has to align with what I would like to say. In the exhibition “The Game”, I work with very sensitive themes such as violence, gender diversity, racism, and urban culture. I generally do not set limits when creating; I always seek for the technique and material to reflect and express my intention in the best possible way.

Occasionally, it may be photography, sculpture, or installations. I believe that mastering different techniques makes you a more complete artist with more tools to express and create a work of art.

What projects are you currently working on and what plans do you have for the future?

Currently, I am working on several public projects, including two monumental sculptures, each 16 feet tall, which will be installed in the city of Redondo Beach, California. Additionally, I am preparing the piece «Diver», a 15-foot-tall bronze sculpture which will be exhibited at the base of the tallest skyscraper in Brickell, Miami.

Additionally, I dedicate part of my time to various commissions for collectors and developers in London and Dubai, as well as to my new collection “SEDUCTION”, a collection of around 100 works that revolve around the seduction, sensuality, and beauty of women, which will be ready in 2025.

Currently, you are working on a sculpture for the Ukrainian embassy in the USA. What will this sculpture be about?

The sculpture I’m working on started when I went to Ukraine 4 years ago. It was a very inspiring and beautiful trip; I have the best memories from this great country. I received a lot of love from the people in all of the cities that I visited; they always had a smile on their faces and were open to help and receive me in the best way. They made me feel at home. I love details and the concept of family, and they made me feel so well.

I was impressed by the beautiful nature everywhere and the love from the people for working the lands. I had the opportunity to see some tanks, guns, some open museums. It was very contradictory with the beauty and peace that I could feel in the city I was staying in. I also took many photographs, and some I still have on my mind and in the memories today.

So when the war started, I felt that even though I was so far away in another country, I couldn’t just sit idly by and close my eyes. I decided use my art to voice my discontent. I started to go through my memories and found some images that I used as symbols to stop the war. It is a piece of art, like an installation, to show people that we are still at war, even if you don’t see the signs or don’t hear the sounds of guns. It is an installation to be on the street and remind us every day of this regrettable war.


First photographer: Nacho Severin @nachoseverin
Second photographer: Alla Solarento @solarento.photo
Casting: Liubov Liubinovska @liubov.liubinovska


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