As the residency comes to a close, so does the semester at Franklin and Marshall College. I'm taking on a lot more educator-like responsibilities and I'm finding that I really, really like helping students. I'm also working on my thesis and have taken on some new public art projects with a crew of various folks. Summer is approaching and I'll be wrapping up stuff at the studio. I have a new sculpture that I'm really excited about and I'm toying with extending the busts to include some more of the body.
The show at DECA, which I realize I haven't spoken much about, spurred a lot of thoughts about where I'm going with all of this. I feel confident and happy with my work, but I also sometimes feel a bit lost. The pieces I included were deeply personal and the first time that I expressed some anger about how I feel as an American and as a Puerto Rican woman. I'm angry that I wasn't taught my own history. I'm angry that we don't talk about reproductive rights in terms of immigrants and non-english speakers. I'm angry at feminism that only discusses issues white, cis, able bodied women can relate to. I'm angry.
The piece with the 100 uteri over-layed on text detailing the atrocities of the forced sterilization program was the first piece that I feel like I was able to express the visceral nature of how I feel about all of this. It's also one of the first pieces that stepped out of my personal narrative and into a more critical, socio-political realm. I'm excited about the possibilities and looking forward to doing more research.
I also have recently come across two artist/groups that I feel deeply connected to. First Maritza Dávila, who goes by Atabeira Press, is a printmaker who plays with many of the same ideas I am. I honestly found her when googling images of Atabeira, the fertility goddess. Her work is really interesting and a bit collagey and she does collaborate quite a bit. She felt like home when I saw her work.
Here's a link to an interview she did while teaching at Memphis College of Art.
I also found a super dope article about chicana and boricua artists who are engaging criticisms of and the changes that need to be made in Guerilla Girls/feminist art movements. Brown bodies tend to be left out of these conversations. Often race relations tends to focus on the divisions between Blacks and Whites. Latinxs/Hispanics and Asians are usually nixed from these conversations and left trying to figure out where they fall on the Black and White spectrum. It can feel like theres not enough energy left after we're done fighting for one groups rights to fight for our own. I'm happy I've started engaging these conversations and articles like this one. I feel like I'm coming home.
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.*