As a first generation immigrant, language is an important part of my narrative. Not just in terms of communication but also in its contemporary relevance in American culture. Having grown up in Pomona, CA (a blue collar, mid to lower income suburb of Los Angeles in which 90+ percent of the population is Latino/Hispanic) exposed me to conflicting viewpoints that, from a young age, have resulted in self cross-examination.
During this process of retracing, I’ve created a growing catalogue of iconographies connected to childhood memories, which are then transcribed throughout my work. Growing up in an environment where trade and craft are top commodities, I embrace physical labor as a mode for exploring the relationship between material, process, and identity. I build artifacts based on family histories by molding, casting, welding, grinding, weaving, stitching, melting, and fusing. The works in turn reflect an examination of the role of an immigrant through assimilation. To be sure, I don’t aim to only highlight cultural differences, but equally important, the similarities of being recognized as simply American.
The term “Mexican-American” is a direct link to the visual vocabulary in my practice. In dissecting the actual versus the imagined realities of this label I’ve come to embrace the nuances of being part of two worlds. By reimagining the traditional use and application of materials and symbols I’m attempting to break stereotypes and expectations. The result is a new landscape, made up of a collection of compositions and gestures in which competing materials are arranged in harmony, overlaid by the exploration of traditionally blue-collar practices. The consequential objects become relics.