work is in large part autobiographical and introspective, an appraisal of personal
identity and self-image. Combining icons and images that speak of her cultural
background, nationality, and gender, she asserts her status as a mestiza by
acknowledging and celebrating both her Spanish and Indian heritage. Cárdenas
gives women, who are frequently the protagonists of her work, a permanent and
positive voice. Depicted as goddesses, traitors, victims, virgins, and martyrs,
they serve as metaphors for strength, innocence, subjugation, and courage.
Yo Soy/Myself and La niña de los espejos are both works in which autobiography and artistic traditions coalesce. By representing herself as a child holding a tiny paintbrush in one piece and a mirror in the other, Cárdenas pays tribute to the intensely personal and introspective paintings of Frida Kahlo. These lithographs also owe much to the Mexican retablo and ex-voto painting traditions, where the use of text and the allusion to memory are integral to the work's composition.
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Cárdenas
relocated to Tucson, Arizona, in 1986 in order to distance herself from what
she considers the patriarchal society of her homeland. Her work has been exhibited
in numerous shows in both the United States and Mexico since 1982.
About Segura Publishing Co.
1999| Lithograph | 30" x 22"| Edition of 100
©2000 Bilingual Review/Press and Cristina Cárdenas
La niña de los espejos
2005 | Lithograph | 30" x 22"| Edition of 100
©2005 Bilingual Review/Press and Cristina Cárdenas