Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#Latina: Reclaiming the Latina tag Artistic process



Today I played with the arrangement of the Portraits.

Painting both represents the world and creates its own world. A viewer can, figuratively, enter a painting and occupy that space. For this body of work I envision a Chapel Like experience that the viewer enters where the viewer could contemplate on an individual painted portrait and admire it for any reason. A painting speaks about something lasting outside of the flux of daily life


Monday, October 26, 2015

Studios MASS MoCA/Assetts for Artist Residency_ In the studio

When Art becomes relevant to a larger world context, art becomes a vital means of reflection upon the nature of society and social existence.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why is painting spell binding?

Painting is a magical medium-it allows painters to associate life experiences to smearing color on surface to transform.

The physicality and act of transcendence as its always unfinished before its finished and its always wrong before it is right.
What if I had done... or... is a process. Magical transcendence rooted in process, evidence of its own making, its physicality

Painting is a Self indulgent, necessary act, to remove myself from the Fast pace or cyber world. Our presence is interchangeable and invisible. Portraits primary goal is to signal and individuals presence.

We connect with others first through the Face and it is the reason why the painted portrait still has the power to move us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015- Artist Dulce Pinzon

Talk about a strong, confident Latina Artist!

Dulce Pinzon

is a successful young artist with an edge. Out of all her series of works I connect the most with "The Real Story of the Superheroes".

Catwoman - Minerva Valencia from Puebla. Works as a nanny in New York she sends 400 dollars a week.
The Real Story of the Superheroes
The Real Story of the Superheroes is a satirical, documentary-style body of work, featuring ordinary men and women in their work environment in New York. They are immigrants donning superhero garb, with the objective of raising questions about our definition of heroism after 9/11 and our ignorance of the workforce that fuels our ever-consuming economy.

I also aim to create awareness on the immigration issue in this country with my work, entitled #MurrietaProtest and #DREAMers. #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.

On her website she states:
After September 11, the notion of the “hero” began to rear its head in the public consciousness more and more frequently. The notion served a necessity in a time of national and global crisis to acknowledge those who showed extraordinary courage or determination in the face of danger, sometimes even sacrificing their lives in an attempt to save others. However, in the whirlwind of journalism surrounding these deservedly front-page disasters and emergencies, it is easy to take for granted the heroes who sacrifice immeasurable life and labor in their day to day lives for the good of others, but do so in a somewhat less spectacular setting.
The Mexican immigrant worker in New York is a perfect example of the hero who has gone unnoticed. It is common for a Mexican worker in New York to work extraordinary hours in extreme conditions for very low wages which are saved at great cost and sacrifice and sent to families and communities in Mexico who rely on them to survive.
The Mexican economy has quietly become dependent on the money sent from workers in the US. Conversely, the US economy has quietly become dependent on the labor of Mexican immigrants. Along with the depth of their sacrifice, it is the quietness of this dependence which makes Mexican immigrant workers a subject of interest.
The principal objective of this series is to pay homage to these brave and determined men and women that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to withstand extreme conditions of labor in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper. This project consists of 20 color photographs of Mexican and Latino immigrants dressed in the costumes of popular American and Mexican superheroes. Each photo pictures the worker/superhero in their work environment, and is accompanied by a short text including the worker’s name, their hometown, the number of years they have been working in New York, and the amount of money they send to their families each week.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

On the works #ReclamingTheLatinaTag

 Works in Progress at Studios MASS MoCA/Assetts for Artists Residency

Hispanic Heritage month- Becky Franco Artist

Why is Art important? Why has it an excellent venue to express oneself?

By Nada A. Cuevas, entitled #InBetween2worlds, size 3inches by 5inches
I started making art in order to deal with a sense of alienation and the absence of familiar people and places in my life. At the age of ten, my parents made the decision to move our family from Puerto Rico to Florida. Being relocated at a young age evoked a new sense of self-exploration and need to establish connections with people. Painting the figure became a means to understand people and create connections in my community, while exploring a visual language to better articulate my observations and interpretations of my Latino identity.  It is this identity that guides my work to cultivate awareness of “otherness” in American culture, while raising questions about belonging and feelings of displacement.
Artist Becky Franco is a Cuban born artist residing in NY whom photo realistic oil paintings are exquisite.

By Becky Franco entitled "Clarity" 58inches by 42inches

Artist Becky Franco states:
Born in Havana, Cuba, I had to leave my home and culture as a young child. Art provided me at a young age with an avenue to express myself, a means to acclimate to the cultural changes I would experience in the United States.
Large scale "Realism" is the way I best represent my ideas. I try to find my truth by drawing from self-examination, observation of everyday experiences and the landscapes of my environment.  As an Artist I am always open to inspiration and the influence that popular American culture exerts on me.  I paint the everyday and the commonplace objects that surround me in my life and those for which I have a particular fascination.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015- Soraida Martinez

VERDAISM, Paintings Juxtaposed with Written Social Commentaries Since 1992
Soraida Martinez is a Latina artist of Puerto Rican heritage who is known as the creator of Verdadism, a form of hard-edge abstraction in which paintings are juxtaposed with social commentaries on truth in America, Soraida was born in New York City and is also a graphic designer specializing in corporate literature. Soraida studied art at Rowan University, where she majored in fine art with a specialization in design and graduated in 1981; she also holds a Liberal Arts degree focusing on psychology. Soraida calls her art style Verdadism because her paintings are accompanied by her written social commentaries, which are based on her personal life experiences. Soraida has gained recognition and received many awards for her unique thought-provoking and visually-stimulating art style, which she created in 1992 and which addresses issues of sexism, racism and stereotyping while seeking to promote a deeper understanding of the human soul and tolerance. Soraida and her art have been featured in many magazines and newspapers, as well as on radio and television; and, she also served as a member of the New Jersey State Council On The Arts. Through her art, Soraida is an activist and humanitarian who visits young children in schools in order to encourage and inspire them to strive to achieve their fullest potential. She is frequently asked to do workshops on her Verdadism art and philosophy at colleges and universities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month- Artist Vincent Valdez

One artist who addresses his Latino identity is San Antonio based artist, Vincent Valdez. His portraits address stereotypes of brown males, specifically of young minorities. Valdez is a third-generation American born of distant Mexican and Spanish descent and in some ways does not identify as “Chicano” or “Hispanic” (Dazal, interview). Yet, in his series The Strangest Fruit, he depicts the distorted bodies of men of color, distinguished by their clothing, hairstyles, skin color, and more. Similar to my series #WhatLatinosLookLike, Valdez uses visual markers that tend to lead to misconceptions and stereotypes of young minority males in American society. In the painting, Untitled, from the Strangest Fruit, the body appears to dangle or float on the canvas. I could interpret the body as having been lynched, which is what the series addresses: the unknown and unrecognized history of lynching of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the United States. As Valdez states: “Presenting this historical subject in a contemporary context enables me to present the noose as a metaphor and to suggest that the threat of the noose still looms over the heads of the young Latino male in American society” (Dazal, interview). Unlike the subjects in my series #WhatLatinoLookLike, who proudly identify as Latino, Valdez does not identify as Chicano or Latino, yet his Mexican heritage informs his artistic expression. 
Vincent Valdez Untitled, from The Strangest Fruit, Oil on canvas, 55" x 92”, 2013

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month- Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

The work of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons addresses the Afro-Cuban diaspora and her exilic identity as a woman of Yoruba ancestry, born in a former slave barracks in the sugar plantation town La Vega in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, now living and working in Boston. Campos-Pons works primarily in photography, performance, audiovisual media, and sculpture. She is considered a "key figure" among Cuban artists who found their voice in a post-revolutionary Cuba.[1]

After 1994, there was a shift in Campos-Pons's work where it became what has been described as a "self-ethnography."[1] This work is largely autobiographical and has tended to examine her ancestors' relationship with slavery and the sugar industry.[9] She started using large-format photographs which were often arranged into diptychs, triptychs or other configurations. These works are reminiscent of works by Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems, but have a pleasing visual and narrative imagery that is uniquely her own.[1]

I had the chance to see a lecture by Campos-Pons and I was most captivated by her character FeFa.
Magda’s and Neil’s Prospectus contributions are based on their continuing multimedia art work FeFaFeFastands for “familiares en el estranjero” [Fe] and “family abroad “[Fa]. According to Magda, “FeFa is both an artistic persona [hers] and a metaphor for the immigration, exile, family and community separation experienced by numerous Cuban families.” An early version of FeFa as a discernible art work was an installation and extended performance for the Havana (Cuba) Biennial exhibition in Spring 2012. The latest is a multimedia installation and performance for the Cuban national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2013

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month- Favianna Rodriguez Artist

Favianna Rodriguez is a Print Maker, painter & Video Artist

But most importantly she is an Activist!

Here is a bit of her interview:
HP: Your new project, "Migration is Beautiful," sheds light on a group of artists working together for social justice. Can you tell us what prompted you to make this documentary series?

FR: Art can spark the imagination like nothing else can, and yet I think that progressives do not fully understand the powerful role that artists can play in social change.
The anti-immigrant movement has successfully been able to dominate the immigration debate by pushing out messages about migrants that are inhumane, racist, xenophobic and hateful. But those of us who fight for migrant rights are not only fighting back, we want to reframe the way migrants are viewed, artists especially. We want to expose the tragic losses that have resulted from unjust immigration laws, and we want to inspire and challenge people to reimagine migration as something beautiful and natural -- somethign we all do.

Visit videos: Migration Is Beautiful

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#LatinosBreakTheMold #WhatLatinosLookLike


was provoked by the theory that Hispanics are identifying as white in larger numbers as part of a process of racial assimilation resembling that of Italian or Irish descendants: a theory that both the New York Times and Slate addressed in June 2014 (Benedetti, Huff Post). By re-presenting the quickly created, ever changing, and widely circulated selfie with a more traditional, time sensitive painting approach and hanging it on an art gallery wall, I want viewers to also slow down and more deeply engage the politics of identity negotiated in a portrait, from ethnic identity to social activism.
 In an email Shareefa Carrion shared with me, "Well I am muslim, born and raised. My mother is African American, Mi Papi es Puertoriqueno. He was born and raised in PR. And the family moved to NY when they were kids. My mom and dad met in Fresno, CA. and was married soon after.
I was born in Sacramento, CA. Most of my family( my fathers side) was in NY and they have moved to california. So I spend most of my time w/ them, Mainly summers eating homemade arroz con pollo! my favorite dish. When I was a baby, my tia would take me to PR to visit. I still have vivid memories of my family there.
As an adult, I am learning more about my heritage and language. And now that I have children I am teaching them their family history. I plan to go to PR soon to visit family and do some research on my family genealogy. Rumor has it, My great, great, great grandmother in PR was an actual slave. So I would love to do more research on that and our family name.
I have a latino Organization called ALMA- Atlanta Latino Muslim Association. I try to help other latino's who have reverted to Islam by giving them info in spanish about islam and what they should do as a muslim."


Shareefa Breaks the Mold and does not fit into a stereotype. The beautiful thing about being Latino is that we are, in a way, a reflection of the world's diversity. There are Muslim Latinos, Afro-Latinos and white Latinos —and we are all equally Latino. Some say our culture is what connects us, and some say it's the languages we speak.

Visit link below and learn how diverse Latinos really are:

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015- Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz Art

I came across Wanda's Art via her character "Chuleta," you can find her videos on youtube "Ask Chuleta". You’ve got to admire Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, the 35-year-old performance and video artist from the Bronx. Identity politics are constant flux, she continues to make angry, difficult but also poignant and occasionally riotously funny works about being a Latina in the United States.
On her website she states:The work I make isn’t exactly for everyone. Or maybe it is. Maybe it’s just the idea that the “everyone” that I’m talking about is not the “everyone” that is counted as important. Maybe its because I’ve made work about the folks we don’t see… the chambermaids in hotels or the inner city mother of three that is thrown in a tizzy because she can’t seem to get a cab for her and her kids. I have built my artistic career by creating works that investigate notions of otherness as a Latina in the US. Starting from personal experiences, I set out to dissect aspects of my heritage from varying points of entry- from within my own family, home, neighborhood, intersecting Latino cultures. These investigations in turn, became larger studies on otherness as a whole in American culture.

I have not met Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz I have no doubt that we will cross paths in near future!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month- Artist Miguel Luciano

Barceloneta Bunnies, acrylic on canvas, 72” x 72”, 2006

I would like to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting Latinos Artist living in the United States. My first artist was my mentor while in Graduate School,  Miguel Luciano.

Artist statement: My work addresses playful and painful exchanges between Puerto Rico and the United States- questioning a colonial relationship that exists to the present and problematizing the space between the two cultures. I am interested in examining how colonial subordination is extended through globalization as communities have shifted gears from a production based society to one that is grounded in consumption. Exploring different mediums, from painting and drawing to interactive sculpture and public art; community interaction and accessibility have always played an important role in my work. From cereal boxes and children’s books, to vintage product labels and historic publications, my work draws upon a range of visual references, often recognizing popular, religious, commercial and consumer iconography into fluctuating new hierarchies – creating meaning anew from site a of resistance.
Miguel Luciano was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1972.  He received his BFA from the New World School of Arts, in Miami, FL and  an MFA from the University of Florida at Gainsville, FL. His work has been exhibited internationally:
Selected Individual Exhibitions 2012 Kuona Trust, smARTpower - Amani Kites, Nairobi, Kenya 2008 Lorenzo Homar Gallery, Miguel Luciano, Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, PA 2007 CLA Gallery, Pure Plantainum, Boston, MA Slater Gallery, When Hens Pee, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Selected Group Exhibitions 2013 Smithsonian American Art Museum, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Washington, DC Nevada Museum of Art, Voces y Visiones: Selected works form El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection, Reno, NV Corridor Gallery / Rush Arts, Justice Blind, Brooklyn, NY 2012 Art Museum of the Americas, The Ripple Effect, Washington, DC San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial, El Panal / The Hive, San Juan, Puerto Rico Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Interconexiones: Plátano Pride, San Juan, Puerto Rico Islip Museum of Art, La Placita, Islip, NY 2011 Mercosul Biennial, Essays on Geopoetics, Porto Alegre, Brazil Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, América Latina: Arte y Confrontacíon -1910-2010, Mexico City, Mexico Hunter College East Harlem Art Gallery, LABOR, New York, NY 2010 Museum for Arts and Design, Think Twice, New York, NY Maccarone Gallery, VLA Art & Law Residency Exhibition, New York, NY Exit Art, Global / National, NY, NY Rotunda Gallery, Accented, Brooklyn, NY El Museo del Barrio, Voces y Visiones – Forty Years of El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection, NY, NY

Miguel Luciano is a great artist and person, Thank you Miguel for guiding me through such an important time in my artistic process!