Warrior’s Dance, Reduction Woodcut [E.V], 11”x 29”, 2019
Flayed Angel, Reduction Linocut, 18”x25”, 2019
Syndrome of the Economy [Nepotism], Reduction Woodcut, 16”x11”, 2019
National symbols are cultural emblems that unify large populations. They are indispensable signifiers of a nation state that communicate to the world the self image of a people and place. The Chicano identity is built on a fusion of two identities and as such can’t fully claim the symbols of one place. The work I make explores the national symbols of the United States and Mexico in an attempt to forge a new visual vocabulary that draws from both places.
The national flora of Mexico has been the prickly pear cactus since the founding of Tenochtitlan in Lake Texcoco. The prickly pear cactus continues to be prevalent in modern Mexico as a symbol of resilience and a direct link to the pre-Columbian past. Like the prickly pear cactus that can grow and thrive in harsh environments, so too does the palm tree grow like weeds in Southern California. A beacon that hovers over the landscape, standing firm against the winds and growing in unlikely places. Unnerving, resilient and graceful. Palm trees stand proudly over the Golden State. A perfect symbol for the Chicano whose identity is forged in a new place but who inherits the traits from the prickly pear cactus.
I am an interdisciplinary California-born artist currently living and working in the Kizh Nation territory known as Los Angeles. My work explores the rich and diverse tapestry of cultures, lifestyles, and narratives found in the “City of Angels” through paintings, prints, photography, and artist books. I grew up in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood in South Central L.A., less than a mile from the urban core but what felt like another world. l celebrated traditions from all over Latin America while simultaneously consuming American Culture which continue to influence my body of work.
l graduated with a bachelors from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2011 and acquired an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My work is in the permanent collections of the Kohler Art Library, the UCSC Digital Art Research Center, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and the Oregon College of Art and Craft. I have exhibited in venues across the country, including the ArtHelix Gallery in New York City, the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art in Portland and I am an active member of the Vox Pop printmaking artist collective.