My inquiry begins with the materials and processes inherent in growing up within a shoemaking family. In the craft tradition of huarache-making (Mexican indigenous sandals), my current practice revolves around repetitive gestures like the weaving of leather, the hammering of nails, and the meticulous painting of finishing details. The tangible presence and symbolic potential of these materials and gestures inspire me to analyze the creation of objects, their makers, and the physical or social conditions involved in their production.
The aesthetic potency of weaving carries a distinct visual presence, readily signaling the handmade. The specificity of leather craft conveys ethnic roots and indigenous aesthetics. Since 2010, I've been exploring the material potential of combining leather with my painting practice. It was through experimenting with weaving leather that abstraction began to make sense to me as a visual strategy.
By melding abstraction with the making strategies learned in childhood, I aim for a radical authenticity that generates tension along with material freshness and contradiction. This preoccupation with materials and meaning forms a dialogue about art versus craft. Employing the language of abstraction, I delve into the tropes of Color Theory, blending a skin-tone palette with prismatic colors to highlight the complexities of skin color. While my chosen color palette is constructed as 'neutral,' I convey hierarchical power dynamics represented in the chromatic gamut of beige, brown, and black. I aim for viewers to perceive my works as 'racialized abstractions' and prompt contemplation of social dynamics and colorism within our culture.
Through my artworks, I invite viewers to contemplate the inequities of race, gender, and class by presenting them with a specific cultural and aesthetic experience. In representing ideas of 'othering' and conditions of 'otherness,' I draw attention to marginalized cultural and aesthetic experiences, seeking to validate and acknowledge their power.