Christina "Tina" Fuentes

For twenty years now, I have realized my art in drawings, paintings, and prints and have found the exploration of the various techniques to be rewarding. Beyond the advancement of my technical skills, I have also been rewarded by seeing my inner thoughts and energies come to fruition in two-dimensional form.

Throughout my artistic explorations, I have consistently used the human form. The figures have gone through several transformations. They have been literally stated and they have been hidden in shadows. At times, they have been defined by delicate, sensuous and linear qualities that intrigue the viewer. At other times, the figures have taken on more ominous qualities, becoming dark, foreboding, and mysterious forms. Within the last few years, another transformation has occurred in my exploration of the human form. My exploration has turned to an examination of the female form in connection to the symbol of the "cross." The "Female and Cross" metaphor surfaced in my art in 1990. It is a metaphor for the feminine strength and power. In order to facilitate my exploration of the theme, I constructed an eight-foot cross to be used in conjunction with a live model. Revealed in three dimensions, the model and cross helped me to realize the potential for reinterpretation of a symbol traditionally lined to a male figure.

As part of my ongoing development of this theme, I am investigating the metaphor outside of the confines of my studio. In May of 1997 and May of 1998, I traveled to Highland Chiapas to the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. While there I visited the villages of Chamula and Romerillo to view their mountain crosses. These immense crosses are viewed to be manifestations of both god and creator ancestors. At times they are being either or both genders. Smaller crosses, also found in these highland Mexican communities are often dressed in female clothing. My goal was to travel as both an artist and observer—to explore and to try to understand the fusion of ancestor, god, man, and woman that these crosses represent to the Maya. With the notes, drawings, and photos from the trip consolidated and studied, I have continued to work on the cross image with what I believe has been an even fuller sense of its potential meaning.

As the work has evolved, I have had the opportunity to expand my research beyond the two-dimensional format. In 1998-99, I was able to expand into the word of film via computer. Introduction and involvement of this technology has begun to provide a viable dialogue for my images. Thus, a reshaping of the growth is unfolding.