My work explores topics related to human behavior, mental health, social taboos, social stereotypes, and social influences. It also offers an ironic discourse on issues like self-objectification, and existential matters such as the fragility of life and the states of illness, along with its outcomes. I paint small worlds that articulate these themes by utilizing women as my main subject, emphasizing aesthetics, using symbols, and constructing a narrative.
My images center on women and girls within ordinary interiors portrayed through shades of greyscale and glazes on acrylic on canvas. I study sign processes, signification, and communication of the stories I portray, and by using symbols, I depict images that generate diverse meanings. I surround my women with objects and furniture that hints at their individual stories. I represent these stories through women because I depict stories of women who have had an impact on me, that I feel identified with or experiences I have lived.
My subjects are ambiguous with their posture on morality, violence, sensuality, taboos, and existentialism. The stories depicted here bounce between real-life facts, masked emotions, repressed memories, unexpressed arguments, and the underlying meanings. My paintings never show complete stories. Here, the signifiers and the signified collide, resulting in an expression that the viewer can easily project their interpretations into without being hindered by the historical reality. My images sometimes emanate latent violence, creating a disconcerting beauty within my artwork. The visual seductiveness, along with the use of symbols further complicates the reception of these layers of meanings.
My new series embodies themes related to the fragility of life, mental health, and illnesses associated with personal experiences and to other people’s experiences that have impacted me or that I am identified with. The pandemic has increased my thoughts on these matters and my desire to incorporate them into my art. Since 2007, I have experienced health challenges, the sudden loss of loved ones, and my mother's illness. From 2007 to 2013, I worked on a series of paintings related to these events titled "As in Christina’s World." My current series is the sequential follow up which incorporates stories related to COVID-19. To compose these images, I use elements that represent to me personal health events, the pandemic, and the clowns’ distinctive features. I use common clown’s costume accessories in my current series because I often try to connect the vulnerable fragility of our lives to that of a circus show. We surround ourselves with plans, life goals, and objectives, despite the irony that we do not know when we will inevitably die. A circus show involves years of training and preparation that will also instantly end; at the end of the day the makeup is removed, the lights are turned off, the act is finished.
My work is continuously inspired by the women I have met, had conversations with, and those who shaped my personal experiences. I also work towards understanding the social influence of human thoughts and behaviors. I am fascinated by the ephemeral nature of the mind and the vulnerable fragility we carry with us in our life. With influences as diverse as Rembrandt, Matisse, and Balthus, I synthesize new variations from both explicit and implicit discourse.
I try to leave the viewer orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts to start conversations about the stories that I am portraying. With my current series, I want to start a dialogue about the fragility of life and the physical and mental illnesses developed in the environment of a global pandemic; creating a space in which to encourage expressions so people can embrace said fragility and make the most out of it.
Los Minutos © 2017 | Acrylic on canvas | 30"x20"