Living in various areas of the country, I came to the realization that there
exists a common bond among all Chicanos. As a Chicana artist, one focus of
my art is to celebrate our culture through images representing these common
bonds: our cultural practices, heritage, family values, and religion. The
Chicano culture is a vibrant and complex entity that is constantly defining
itself. My art is a continued search to define myself and the common bonds
of our people, to make visible my own reality, and to create an awareness
and appreciation of our unique culture.
Watercolor/Prismacolor on paper/foamcore (free-standing figure, detail of
installation Four Stages of Life), 66" x 40"
Christina is a free-standing figure (1 of 4) detail of an installation
titled Four Stages of Life. The installation represents the four stages
of life of a woman: child, teenager, adult and elder. It is comprised of four
lifesize free-standing figures, each with an object that represents their
identity and position in life. With this installation I wanted to create figures
that would have more "connection" with the viewer than the traditional easel
portraits. I was inspired by the work of Luis Jiménez, particularly the large
free-standing figures he created for Honky Tonk and Gaspar Enríquez' cutout
figures of acrylic on wood from his Pachuco series. In Christina, the
teenage figure stands bold and confident, exhibiting a determined and powerful
presence, but the rose at her feet indicates the tenderness and fragility
of her true persona.
Virgen de las Rosas, 1993
Watercolor, paper, gold foil (retablo, 1 of 9; detail of Installation Ofrenda
a me fe y cultura), 11" x 14"
The ofrenda in the form of an altar or shrine has been an avenue of expression
for many Chicana artists. Altar-inspired art and retablos are art forms that
express a more personal and intimate interpretation of spirituality and faith.
In the installation Ofrenda a me fe y cultura, I identified certain
cultural icons that had been very strong images in my life. Focusing on these
images and symbols, I created nine retablos using such techniques as assemblage
and collage. They were placed in the form of a cross on a gold fabric-covered
wall. Flowing purple fabric framed the wall and a small table at the base
of the cross was decorated with a variety of religious objects and memorabilia.
The retablo Virgen de las Rosas is my personal interpretation of the
age-old legend of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Roses have always been associated
with the Virgen, so I decided to create an icon where I covered her cloak
with roses as an offering to honor her image.