The appealing and the grotesque sit on two opposing hills. I’m not interested in either one, but in the valley that stretches between them. The intention of my pieces is to celebrate ambivalence by finding complexity where it does not conventionally lie. Other themes like mortality, philosophy, and human nature become part of this conversation. I frequently employ a muted color palette comprised of natural creams and browns, often combined with pale pastels, which is done to keep the work visually subdued and approachable, in order to balance out the (often thematically dense) subject matter. My work appropriates the visual language of centuries past, such as memento mori, to modernize their meaning through situating these symbols in a more intimate setting, or through their mode of presentation.Want to contact? email me email@example.com
There is something very human about collecting organic keepsakes from a loved one, such as baby teeth and locks of hair. They are irreplaceable and often represent both a fear of loss and a celebration of growth. The same is true of the snake skins I have carefully preserved since I first started keeping snakes at age 14. This highly delicate material embodies the relationship between growth and loss, both having a quality of inevitability and irreversibility. The transformative process of turning the sheds into “papel picado”, or carved paper, is materially and emotionally challenging. the resulting images draw from the symmetrical decorative motifs frequently used in traditional Mexican papel picado, visually organic and flowing from one to the next, cyclically advancing and receding. In this, my Piel Picada depicts my self-contained, highly ambivalent experience of growth and loss.