Fidencio Durán

My work is based on memories of having grown up in a rural setting in central Texas. I am part of a large family. My father immigrated with his parents, a sister, and a brother from central Mexico in the late 1920s. They survived as farm laborers. This experience continued until the late 1960s with my brothers and sister. My parents’ emphasis on making education our vehicle for survival has been a major influence on my family’s ability to become sustainable in American society.

My figurative paintings show an interest in clear rich color, the display of the human figure in motion, the depiction of spatial illusion, and a highly narrative content. With acrylics I have used a layering technique to build up color. I have also used them as translucent glazes to achieve a subtlety of tones. I prefer to keep the surface of my paintings flat and rely on the depicted objects and spaces as the texture in my work. The figures are derived from specific memories of relatives and friends with the settings of my family’s experiences in Texas.

I intend for my work to reveal our lives as an aspect of American history that may otherwise go unnoticed. With personal memories as my basis, I have explored the disappearing life of rural America and its role in the Mexican-American experience.
Being of the post segregation era, I have also explored the interaction with mainstream American culture.

Whether my work expresses my culture may best be affirmed in the future. I believe that culture is a continually evolving system of beliefs and practices. My family and I have gone from being tenant farmers to more sustainable members of society through education’s ability of empowerment. Our interactions with mainstream society have enabled us to further assess our needs for cultural and spiritual survival.