We are officially done with our first semester of the residency. All the Millersville students are on break and us EARs have the building to ourselves. I have been questioning so much of my work lately. Feeling like things are just not meshing well but I feel a bit reassured. We had a critique yesterday to mark the midway point and I think it went really well. I got some great feedback and food for thought that I will apply moving forward. I need to think about how the grotesque nature of some of my pieces might skew or color how I'm relating to or attempting to relate to my Latina identity. So far I'm on the right track! Below are the non-bust pieces I have brewing in my brain pot.
Above is a rosary made of birth control pills. I discussed this a few posts ago while it was 'in progress'. It is composed of casts from a blister pack of birth control pills (so they are essentially the voids where the pills used to be). The pendant is made of cloth and wax with gold embossing dust that is burned into layers of wax. With this piece and many of the others that deal with uteri, I was thinking about issues of fertility, femininity and especially cases of forced sterilization of women in the Caribbean. (Read More Here!)
Above is a series of uteri made from the same cloth and wax process I mentioned above and also referencing the same kind of issues I have been thinking about with sterilization and all. I'm playing with applying gold embossing powder to these. I like that red and gold are weaving through all of my work so far.
Behind the uteri are the gilt pasteles I'm working on. They are cast resin pasteles that I've applied gold leaf to. I'm working on how they'll be displayed now. I wanted to comment on how they're traditionally peasant food served primarily during the holidays. I wanted to elevate them and give them the appearance of gold bars. The last image is a meme that has been circulating on Latino social media pages. For us, the pasteles and/or tamales are so ubiquitous during this time of year. Their are jokes about how families come together to assemble them despite differences. The whole process crosses generations and at the same time encapsulates Afro-Carribean, Spanish and Taino culture in one neat package of meat, starches vegetables and banana leaves.
This blog functions as a space for me to articulate what goes into making my artwork. As it goes, artists are supposedly notorious for being verbose and confusing writers that often come off as pretentious, pompous asses. That hopefully won't happen here. I intend to be as informal as possible. If you've made it this far I probably don't have to warn you that some of this might be NSFW because nudity is known to literally, and irreversibly, burn corneas.*