My identity and culture runs strong through my veins, however, I am in a constant chase of it. The true freedom of my expression lies within the feathers and cultural symbolism in my work. With ambition, I continue to discover more of who I am and learn new things during my artistic process. To educate and share pieces of my identity and culture with my audience is important to me, as well as being a voice and representation for those in my community.
About A Constant Chase…
My initial use of the Coqui frogs (small frogs located all over the island of Puerto Rico) as well as feathers in my senior pre-thesis, symbolized the oppression that Puerto Rican islanders face from the mainland America. Here, the coqui along with the feathers represent my freedom of expressing who I am. Simply because of my skin, or hair, I am seen as only one thing and stereotyped without consideration of other possibilities. I have seen so many of my friends, and have read studies of people around the world who experience identity issues, because other people don’t understand diversity. I have went through my entire childhood wondering what it means to be “Black”, Puerto Rican, Chilean & Mexican, when I only “look Black”.
It had taken me many years to understand who I am. I sadly went through phases where I hated being Black, because I did not fit in with them. I also went through phases where I hated being Puerto Rican, because many did not accept me. I was always “la pequeña negra”. As I got older, I realized that I didn’t actually hate Black people or Puerto Ricans of course, I hated myself for being such a mixture of things and not knowing who I am.
Fortunately however, I am not alone in this identity crisis, which is why I wanted to create “A Constant Chase”. As I grew mentally, and realized this isn’t just a “me” thing I wanted to make a statement within my artwork about this issue. I feel it is all our rights to freely express and learn about who we are ethnically, racially, and culturally.
You can identify with every piece of who you are, as long as you don’t forget the majority of who you are.
Oil & Acrylic on wood panel
4x4ft Oil and Acrylic on wood painting wired and framed for hanging. To clean use a feather duster or wipe gently with a damp paper towel.
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