“Transcending Cultural Boundaries”- A Memoir in 7 images
I begin my story by exploring my genesis.
I interviewed my parents about their
childhood and placed the words from their
memories on the edges of the composition.
Several Pre-Columbian groups in Mexico
believe the creator a female and support
that human life comes from the corn.
This piece became an authentic cathartic
moment of understanding where I come
from and how it formed my identity.
(2010) (36 x 48 in)
Malinche represents a changing identity.
Malinche was an indigenous slave given to
Cortez, the spanish conquistador, who then
became his translator and lover. She is
considered the mother of all Mexicans, but
her name is now used as an insult. This is
a term used for anyone that values foreign
products and ideas over Mexican ones. By
extension this term is also given to people
that venture outside of Mexican culture.
(2010) (26 x 38 in)
The last time I was Mexican
Mexican society has not come to terms with
the mixture of European and Indigenous
cultures. The clash between these two
societies created a toxic environment that
led me to believe I had to leave Mexico.
Parting with my family and culture was a
difficult and painful decision for me. With
this piece, I intend for the viewer to share
the anxiety and shock I experienced the
moment I challenged the belief system that
had been given to me. (2011) 48 by 36 in.
This piece represents the support and l
love I found while challenging the
identity society assigned me. As a
child I believed that I deserved love
if I did what I was told, if I was a good
girl. This piece represents my relief in
discovering that I can explore my
own identity and be loved because of
my actions, not in spite of them.
(2010) 26 by 38 in.
The Greatest Battle
As a middle class woman growing up in Mexico I
attended private catholic schools. My education was
westernized with the underlining belief that in order
to succeed I had to become as westernized as
possible. Anything that represented indigenous
Mexican culture was considered to be inferior and if
I wanted to be economically successful, I needed to
stay away from it. I find this ideology damaging and
I had to make a choice. I either celebrated my
identity as a Mexican woman, meaning mostly
indigenous with little European blood and not fit in
with my friends and family. Or I strived to
westernize myself and loose my indigenous roots.
(2011) 36 by 48 in.
Being an artist and following my dreams
is a nontraditional path. Joseph Campbell
states in his book “Hero of a Thousand
Faces”, that once the hero embarks on
her journey she will always find divine
assistance. My personal journey receives
the blessings of Frida Kahlo, great Mexican
artist and fierce re-inventor of her identity,
and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, the first
Mexican Feminist. (2010) 36×42 in.
While making this piece I felt secure enough
in my identity and artistic ability that I no
longer felt the need to defend them. I
understand that regardless of the labels we give
each other, we are all simply people.
This as gift that previous heroes, specifically
Feminists and Mexican-American activists, have
given me. This piece is a nod to all that have
supported me as well as a wish that a journey of
self-discovery can someday be commonplace,
full of joy and support from society.
(2012) 36x 48 in.