My work is informed by my experience as a first generation, Honduran-American, woman of color. Through portraiture and the language of paint, my work explores themes of identity, beauty, gender and race through the laborious act of ritual ornamentation. At once painterly and glittery, these busy surfaces distract from underlying tensions and the gaze of my subjects. Each rhinestone is applied individually with tweezers, the process then becomes a form of alchemy, producing outward manifestations of strength, beauty and power.
Floral elements are utilized as graphic representations of not only a familial narrative, but also the contrast of the natural and artificial world. Lush flowers, vines and patterns emerge in order to immerse the subject and capture the viewer’s attention. The subjects are at once disengaged while others display various degrees of intimacy. The women are depicted as both virtuous and erotic vessels, and draws references from Bernini’s “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa.” The distinction of emotions is convoluted. There is at once a sense of rapture blurred with anguish. The duality of these themes, are as much relevant today as they were during the 17th century.
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