My inquiry begins with the materials and processes specific to growing up in a shoemaking family. In the craft tradition of huarache–making (Mexican indigenous sandals), repetitive gestures such as the weaving of leather, the hammering of nails, and the painting of finishing details make up my current practice. The physical presence and signifying potential of these materials and gestures inspire me to analyze how objects are made, who makes them, and the physical or social conditions involved in their making. Through my works, I invoke the viewer to consider the inequities of race, gender, and class by presenting them with specific cultural and aesthetic experiences. In representing ideas of othering and conditions of otherness, I call attention to marginalized cultural and aesthetic experiences to validate them and acknowledge their power.
By employing strategies of early Modernism and rendering them with lowly craft materials, a merger is formed that creates tension and contradiction and preoccupies me in a dialogue about art versus craft. I employ the language of abstraction and explore the tropes of Color Theory, substituting a skin-tone palette for prismatic colors to draw attention to the complexities of skin color. While my chosen color palette is contrived as “neutral” I convey hierarchical power dynamics represented in the chromatic gamut of beige, brown, and black. I want the viewer to see my works as “racialized abstractions” and consider social dynamics and colorism within our culture.