Size: 9"W x 9"H x 0.01"D
Year Created: 2018
I grew up in a very bad, poverty-stricken neighborhood in mid-city Los Angeles. At night I would lay in my small bed, and listen to the gunshots, police helicopters rumbling over our small house, and the protective barks of our faithful watch-dog Azor keeping his family safe. Our neighborhood was very segregated, and hate induced violence was very prevalent. The kids in the neighborhood never liked or accepted me; I was Hispanic—a factor they hated me for. Even though our neighborhood did not accept my family, my parents always taught me to love, and appreciate all people regardless of their actions towards me.
Racism continued to run rampant like an insidious weed, choking the life and hope out of our neighborhood.
My childhood taught me a lot about this world. It showed me the darkness and the depravity of racism and hate that are still threaded throughout this society and world, but it also showed me that I can make a difference. I believe in the power of a dream. Adversity never intimidates the great thinker. I could have succumbed to the hardship of my childhood, hated the people who insulted me, and simply become another fraction of a percent in minority failure, but instead I choose the high path, where self pity and weakness are not an option. I have a voice and that voice is through art.
My paintings serve as a means of communicating issues of personal identity and of the complexities of human experience. While painting, an intimate interaction occurs between me, the painter, and emerging figure. I investigate and portray the internal, emotional landscape of my subjects. My work is a hybrid exploration of figure painting and abstraction. In the cases where the gesture or lines of a whole body are rendered, the head reminds the focal point of representation as implied by its scale or its level of detail. While I use a variety of materials and processes in each project my methodology is consistent. They are linked by recurring formal concerns and through the subject matter. I look to the vocabulary of modern and contemporary art as inspiration. I do not plan the atheistic outcome of my artwork. I am sensitive to the demands of the painting. I go where the painting wants to go. I know when a painting is done when the painting itself can hold a conversation on its own; the colors are contrastive and there is a balance between spontaneity and control. I am deeply committed to lines and their properties. A single drawn line can express movement and gesture, and give direction and depth on a flat surface. I strive to convey these qualities in my drawings. I carry these disciplines into painting. Often times I incorporate lines into my paintings to add visual weight and to enhance the form. I often draw or paint many versions; I do this because I feel with every reinterpretation the work becomes stronger and the elements become purer.