Chicago is a very diverse city with many ethnic communities. Residing in Chicago makes my experiences rich and as a result of this, it has been important in my artistic development. As a Puerto Rican artist, I feel like I am living in a foreign environment, this experience affected the development of my artwork. My home, which is now underwater as a result of a dam that was built there, left me without a home. I cannot return to where I was born and at times it makes me feel like I do not belong anywhere. Nevertheless, my artwork relies on the many memories of home and my tropical paradise that lives in my imagination.
I work in an international community of contemporary artists where it has been difficult for Latino artists to receive the same recognition as other artists. Even though these barriers have subsided, I always wanted to be appreciated and recognized on my artistic merits. There still remain barriers between being view beyond in the broader framework of my national heritage. I have a commitment to my heritage/culture and this will not change. By exposing my personal fears, dreams, and aspirations, I am able to explore my inner self that is full of myths, spirituality, and rituals, juxtaposed against barriers, misunderstandings, and political upheaval.
Mysticism and goddesses populate my canvases in the series titled “Metamorphosis, Genesis Paradigm”. The mysterious, inaccessible figures, echoing the mythological in pursuit of perfect form, transmit my fascination with reality’s multiple dimensions. The isolated presences symbolize the courageous illusions of the human mind, whose changing perceptions and conventions provide my grasp on reality. The current series of paintings that includes Metamorphosis, Resemblance which are Self-portraits thru the eyes and presences of individuals in my life, and “The Puerto Ricans” explores the contrasts of light and dark to create tension and a sense of mystery. This new work involves turmoil, movement, stillness, decay, and hope. Idealized images suggest further distortions of reality and how we perceive ourselves. These paintings emphasize the elusive truths of idealized distortions as well as the order that exists within chaos. It is my conviction that the value of art relies on its power to reveal our inner world. My images are an outgrowth of the Puerto Rican experiences that combines spiritual concerns AND secular ones. I use passionate expressionism, turned inward, become the implacable instrument of my self-exploration. They are memories of a place of origin, which take me to paradisiac landscapes and oneiric spaces where time does not exist and only the stillness of silence allows me to explore my ideas. I invite the viewer to revisit memories, which are entangled in nude bodies with indigenous symbols that descend into nature and surrounded by the colors of my tropical home called Maraguez.
My work is a complex, vibrantly layered combination of abstract and figurative forms, which incorporates my personal memories.
Also, my work involves an obsessive pursuit of the fabrications of my imagination and subconscious in the images I use. A magical intersection of fantasy and reality occurs in the chimerical figures that inhabit my canvases. Their shimmering, other-worldly presences emerge from “carvings” where multilayers are carved out to reveal layers of color to define the figure. in addition, many of the backgrounds are an abstract representation of the environment I am creating.
I employ a highly personal, metaphoric language to express a vision of reality’s many facets. It is a belief in the primacy of my imagination, in its power and freedom to reinterpret and reinvent my reality.