Candance Briceño

 

My work calls to mind the transitory moments in life and nature and alludes to change and growth as a young woman. My work is heavily influenced by my love and appreciation of fabrics, wallpapers and even gardens that belong to my family. I take the floral image that is so familiar to me, throughout my childhood, that I have seen at my family’s homes and notice where these images are cherished the most. My love for these decorative forms represent my love and my need for associating personal memories with the women in my family and the communication that it provided for me with these women. As a young girl, who spoke no Spanish and at times stayed with my grandmother who spoke no English these floral forms always helped to strengthen our non-verbal skills in a “language” that we both spoke. A warm smile or nod she would give me when picking roses in her garden or rummaging through her drawers of old embroidered handkerchiefs drenched with floral images. Some of my paintings are direct copies of patterns that belong to my parents’ wedding china to my grandmother’s favorite flower, the rose, that I remember from her garden and her doodle drawings of flowers on scrap paper near her phone. In my work, I use those floral images as metaphors for those certain people that I want to represent in my paintings. These memories associated with my family are very precious to me and I try to record them for myself and to document how things were to me as a child and how they are now as a young woman. These images are ones that I still use today to communicate in an unspoken manner to the women in my family.

Artist Statement about 500 plus (Phyllis):

The piece 500 plus (Phyllis) is an image of over 500 hand sewn red felt roses which are assembled and sewn individually onto a gessoed canvas. Although I used the felt to communicate my idea in this piece, I consider it a painting in every way. The piece is made of a solid vibrant red color but it projects as a multiple of many colors as it interacts with the lights of its environment. Each time that I hang the piece in a new setting it seems to function as a completely new piece. In the way the work plays with light, I immediately feel this work is at home with the color field painters that I studied about in school. Initially, I was working on this piece in a smaller scale and decided half way into the work that it was calling out to be a larger work-4ft by 4ft. I started thinking of this lush, thick blanket of roses and how the texture of the piece evokes memories not just for me but for others as well. I think that people are drawn to this piece because it is about abundance of beauty and sensuality.



Las Rosas de Mi Abuelita is a piece honoring my grandmother and the memory of the beautiful roses she had in her yard. When I was young, I would go to her house on Sundays after church to visit her and eat breakfast with her. On these visits, I would go outside and pick huge amounts of roses from her garden and take them back with me to my parent’s house. My mom would tell me not to pick so many because when I would return the next Sunday there might not be any roses left. But, every Sunday that I went back there seemed to be more and more roses. After my grandmother passed away, I visited her house once more after the new owners had moved in. I did not see any more roses left in the yard. The piece, Las Rosas de Mi Abuelita, reminds me of the abundance of love that she had for us when she was alive and the love that she continues to give us even though she is gone. The roses seemed endless like her memory is to me now.

 



Purgatory is a piece that I did when I was consumed with the idea of death. Brought up Catholic, it seemed to me that the idea of hell was always close to the morale of many religious readings. The consequences of our sins was, at times, pretty overwhelming and scary to me as a child. I feel the piece Purgatory is about the positive impact that these religious readings had on me throughout my life. Purgatory, obviously, is not supposed to be a beautiful nor desirable place to be. I consider the idea of hell as a gift to me in that it helped me as an individual to strive to be a better person everyday. I decided that my version of hell would illustrate my gratitude for these childhood stories, thus, my version of hell is concealed with some beauty on the surface.