Arts in Context

Meet the Austin artists turning clowns into seriously surreal art

Meet the Austin artists turning clowns into seriously surreal art

Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the latest installment in our partnership with KLRU's documentary series Arts In Context. The series explores the process of creation and what it's like to be a working artist in the Austin area. You can watch more stories at klru.org/artsincontext.

As a part of their collaborative photography project, Payasa, artists and co-creators ​Cynthia Muñoz and Andie Flores dress up as clowns and capture surreal images all around Austin. Not having anything more than a desire to explore themselves creatively, Payasa has become a powerful outlet for both artists to bond, elevate one another, and create a space that is free of judgments and inhibitions.

“You don’t see a lot of times, I think, women allowed to sort of have fun in this way, where you dress up like a clown and go in public and just see what happens,” says Muñoz. The result is a collection of compelling photographs as colorful and strange as the circus acts themselves. 

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire, and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts, or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Decibel, and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Clown artists
Austin-based artists Cynthia Muñoz and Andie Flores dress up as clowns and capture surreal imagery all around the city. Courtesy of KLRU Arts in Context