US, THEM, YOU
March 1-April 9 2016
While occupying a single earth, many generations of people have amplified their differences from others and the similarities within their own defined groups. Rather than coalescing around the idea that "we're all in this collectively," these extremes "US," not "THEM" perspectives are expressed in both radical and in socially-accepted ways through racial and class prejudice, genocide, wars, political corruption, resource allocation, and fear messaging on social media.
Studio Place Arts is hosting a global, invitational exhibit involving artist from the U.S. and around the world that explore the highly charged topics of "US" and "THEM". The exhibition will open March 1-April 9, 2016.
My pieces entitled #MurrietaProtest and #DREAMers will take part of this exhibition. #MurrietaProtest, addresses a shameful display of anti-immigrant sentiment in this country- specifically an event that took place in California in July of 2014. A response to #MurrietaProtest came after Obamas Executive Actions on Immigration, entitle #DREAMers. Activism by young immigrants at the Iowa freedom summit January 2015 and attendance to Obamas remarks at Town Hall at Florida International University Miami held April 2015. Consequently, my explorations led me to appropriate images online and represent found selfies. By painting from images that are inherently informal and impermanent, I seek to draw attention to how we interpret our engagement with one another as a series of fleeting yet meaningful encounters, thereby pointing a lens to our culture of instant gratification metaphorically pressing pause. I slow down the viewers engagement by painting the portraits the size of a cell phone. This slows down the viewer’s gaze. The “gaze” has been theorized as a means of exerting power through the act of looking; by encouraging a slower gaze in my repainted selfies. I encourage the viewer to consider the lives of others. In this regard, my paintings serve to celebrate the diversity within the Latino community in the United States and to explore the complex ways in which people negotiate issues of ethnic identity using social media as a means of social activism.