Aesthetics Wiki

Chicha, also called Andean Tropical Cumbia (Spanish: Cumbia Tropical Andina) when referring to the musical genre, is a kitschy comtemporary art movement that developed in Peru during the 1980s. This art style is mainly present in flyers and street art related to Chicha music, which originated in the 1970s and it particularly has deep roots in Indigenous Peruvian & Andean cultures, also incorporating influence from Pop Art and Psychedelic art.

Chicha art eventually grew beyond its musical roots and became one of the most influential art movements from Peru, sometimes being described as "the Peruvian equivalent of Baroque"[1]. Similiarly to the Hippie subculture, Chicha art has also been used to address political issues in south America, like Indigenous rights and gender inequality.


Chicha as a musical genre and movement started developing in the decade of the 70s, but it wasn't until the 1980s when it officially became an art movement in its own right. The word "Chicha" is derived from the Spanish word chicha, which refers to a beverage originating from the Andes region in South America, reflecting the important Indigenous Peruvian influence on this movement. Chicha art emerged as a distinct trend during the rapid economical growth that Peru went through during the 1960s and 1970s. Lots of Peruvians (including Indigenous Andeans) migrated from rural areas to urban centers, particularly to Lima, and it quickly led to the growth of marginalized communities and the emergence of new Indigenous cultural expressions. Chicha music in particular became the chosen genre of this new cultural phenomenom, because it had pretty much everything needed for a countercultural movement; Chicha music is a mix of many Andean influences and it has a Psychedelic vibe to it.

Alongside Chicha music, an artistic counterpart developed in Peru. It was Chicha art; characterized by its bold colors, Psychedelic-inspired patterns, and imagery related to Andean cultures and social progress. Chicha art initially served as a promotional tool for Chicha music concerts, being principally found in street art, posters, flyers, and album covers. At first, it was seen from a racist point of view by many non-Indigenous Peruvians, who considered Chicha art part of huachafa culture (huachafa is a Peruvian Spanish term that refers to someone who pretends to be elegant, but is not, similiar to the German word kitsch). However, it soon became one of the most famous forms of art and cultural expression in Peru.


Some visuals prominent in Chicha art include:

  • Tropical and Andean imagery
  • Chicha typography
  • Flowers and animals
  • Stars
  • Psychedelic-inspired patterns
  • Street art, graffities and posters/flyers
  • Eye-catching designs
  • Bright, fluorescent colors that are associated with Andine cultures
  • Activism and socio-political commentaries (sometimes)


Chicha music or Andean Tropical Cumbia originated in the 1970s in Peru. It blends elements of traditional Cumbia with many musical genres originating from Andean cultures, like Huayno, and also incorporates influence from Psychedelic Rock. The main instrument used in these songs is the electric guitar. Chicha music has a vast rich amount of influences in its musical patterns, including but not limited to Salsa, Mambo, Guaracha and Rock.


Musical Artists[]

  • Carlos Ramírez y su Grupo Centeno
  • Chacal y sus estrellas
  • Chacalón y La Nueva Crema
  • Los Shapis
  • Grupo Celeste
  • Los Hijos del Sol
  • Los Ovnis de Huancayo
  • Grupo Alegría
  • Grupo Génesis
  • Toño y su grupo Centella
  • Vico y su grupo Karicia
  • Los Destellos
  • Los Sádicos de Huancayo
  • Juaneco y su Combo
  • Tongo y su grupo Imaginación
  • Pintura Roja
  • Alin y Su Grupo Markahuasi
  • Roy y los Gentiles
  • Los Fieles
  • Sombra Azul
  • Centeno
  • Grupo San Lázaro
  • Grupo Victoria
  • Carlos Ramírez Centeno
  • Alfonso Escalante Quispe
  • Lorenzo Palacios Quispe
  • José María Palacios
  • Milagros Soto Rivas
  • Julio Simón
  • Abelardo Gutiérrez
  • Víctor Carrasco Tineo
  • Antonio Domínguez Vásquez
  • Alejandro Pacheco
  • Jorge Chambergo Porta
  • Víctor Casahuamán Bendezú
  • Miguel Mendoza
  • Andrés Vásquez
  • Felipe Pizarro
  • Wilindoro Cacique