Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Presentation: Patssi Valdez


Patssi Valdez’s art really caught my eye during the class presentations. Patssi is an artist that I am glad I came across because I really enjoy the way she applies her experience onto her art. The methodology she has been applying to define and redefine herself is portrayed in her art. Her transcendence through sadness and torment from her home in East LA allowed her to be an introspective painter who has come to peace with herself. Her paintings catch viewer’s eyes through her use of vibrant colors. Her artwork and skill to incorporate beautiful colors really helps in highlighting her purpose in her art and allows viewers to connect with her.  Such as her artwork “Patssi’s Kitchen” we are able to see her ability to incorporate traditional and cultural aspects of her life. I was able to connect to her art because I saw a connectivity between her kitchen and mine. In my kitchen we always have a broom because my parents are fascinated with cleaning the kitchen 24/7. We also have fake and real fruit displayed in our counters such as in her image. The color used in the kitchen also depicts the color  scheme used in my kitchen at home. Overall, Patssi is an amazing artist that is able to portray a lot to viewers by using a simple, unique style. 


Natalia Anciso - Do Not Cross (2017)


The presentation of the works by Natalia Anciso was the one that really caught my attention last week and has stuck with me since I saw it. The work "Do Not Cross" (2017) shows a young man of color laying back on his chair of his school desk. His arms and head are flung back, symbolizing the lifeless body in an educational environment which is supposed to continue to give knowledge and power, however has failed to do so. This piece is extremely political by being so personal and relevant today. I am currently taking an education course called "Narratives of Justice: Disrupting the School-to-Prison-Pipeline" and this image embodies the experiences, voices, and stories of the youth of color we are discussing in class every meeting. Because this education course focuses on how we can use the arts as a way of changing the way educators engage with students as a way of empowering them and giving them autonomy and sense of agency over their academic and life trajectories, "Do Not Cross" is a work that expresses how important it is for us to change our schools.

This work in particular reveals how youth of color are not given the same educational opportunities to succeed, and therefore are being failed by the system at large. I appreciate how in class there was a discussion about what the flowers symbolize in Anciso's work, and how it is almost as if she is paying homage to the countless people of color who are being affected everyday by the current laws and policies in place that serve to demobilize communities of color. I appreciate her work because it reveals how disconnected this young man of color is from the very system in place that is supposed to serve to educate and empower him. As people of color, it is difficult for us to take space in institutions that were not intended or made for us, and I find that the use of the "police line do not cross" tape as a way of weaving the colorful, beautiful flowers to the rest of the image is a very creative way of expressing the concerns of police violence and the hyper-criminalization forced upon black and brown bodies.

Presentor: Monica Aissa Martinez



From last week’s presentations I was struck by Monica Aissa Martinez. Her works focusing on the human body caught my attention because of its detail and beauty. Her large paintings are sometimes made by casein and egg tempera, which is much diffident and unique compared to many other artist mediums. Martinez’s extraordinary approach to viewing the human body had led her to great success as a Chicana Artist. Her anatomical drawings help the viewer remember, we are all humans of the same species. Our insides are the same despite the color of our skin or origin of our ancestors. I relate to her work as I was once a pre med student, who studied anatomy. The human body is phenomenal and a machine on its own. Martinez recreates this using mediums to how human beauty. 

 artist in studio

Presentation: Monica Kim Garza

After numerous presentations of artists who were trained classically in art and who are now showcasing their art in galleries, I felt like Monica Kim Garza was super relatable because she uses social media as a platform to promote her art and resist the prevalent fatphobia within our society. Now, in the time that we live in, it has become really easy to connect with other artists of color and I really like how Armando Berumen was able to find Kim Garza by word of mouth and social media. It's like, a reflection of how young POC connect with each other now to find community. And now, Armando was able to share his knowledge of an artist resisting fatphobia! I find that super dope...

Toward Kim Garza's work, I find that she resists fatphobia and erasure of fat womxn by painting nude/semi-nude portraits of fat woman in active and sexual positions. For example, surfing, swimming, and hiking, in which she displays women often in groups doing these activities. I feel like she includes multiple women together in her paintings because she shows how women empower each other by being in a collective especially when society continues to bring us down by dividing and conquering us.


In this specific painting that I provided here,  Kim Garza depicts multiple nude women playing basketball while fashioning headbands and the focus of the painting is this badass mujer who's dunking on them backward. I chose this image because I felt like it was dope how she painted multiple women of different skin colors who are unified in a game of basketball, which is a sport that focuses mostly on the big, muscular men in the NBA. I hope to find more artists like Kim Garza on social media in the future.

Presentation 2: Ester Hernandez


The presentation that I found the most interesting was Rafael’s presentation on Ester Hernandez. First off, I thought his presentation was well spoken and I was able to hear all the information that he had at hand. All three of Ester Hernandez’s images that were presented I found very fascinating and the purpose or meanings of these images are captivating. The image La Virgen de las Calles (2001), by Ester Hernandez, was the image that stood out to me the most. In translation, La Virgen de las Calles translates to the Virgen of the streets. Near a lot the intersections by my house I see and witness many people working hard to sell flowers or fruits to people in their cars just so they can survive and make a living. Often times I see kids helping out their parents to sell the flowers but I never really think about why they are there. It wasn’t until Rafa pointed out that the younger children will help increase sales due to appealing to emotion and also the kids are there because they have nowhere else to go and no one else can watch them do to financial struggles. In the image, the lady is wearing a U.S.A crewneck or pullover, showing her American pride and striving to attain the American dream. Also, the bucket holding the flowers is labeled “futura” or future which I interpreted it as this job of selling flowers is her future, or that selling these flowers will help her future become brighter and she will now have a chance in the world. Also, I had a pair of Nikes just like the ones La Virgen de las Calles is wearing so I thought that was fascinating. Overall, I enjoyed Rafa’s presentation on Ester Hernandez and his choice of images and interpretations were on point. 

Kim Bjanes



I was very interested in Kim Bjanes' approach to art. It is unusual for an artist to focus on apparel in the way she does, and I think that reflects her interest in spreading her message outside the gallery or museum space and into the world. On T-shirs, her art can take on lives of its own in many different contexts, presenting variations of its central message depending on who wears it. It's inspiring that Bjanes used negativity she experiencing growing up regarding her hair and ethnicity to create art that could empower other brown women with curly hair, and that she paid special attention to her own privilege as a light skinned Latina and how she could lift up those with darker skin. Bjanes' work says a lot about the value of democratizing one's artistic practice in a way that is accessible to those who do not regularly visit galleries or museums, and how social media can be a powerful tool to spread political messages. The image above is one of Bjanes' shirts, which conveys the messages that brown women are badass and beautiful.

Presentations: Kim Bjanes

Looking back on my classmates presentations last week, the presentation on Kim Bjanes really stuck out to me.  Although I like listening to the biographies, stories about each artist and learning about their work, the presentation about Bjanes felt a little more personal.  The presenter shared stories about how she grew up in a Spanish speaking home, hearing the stereotypical, negative, phrases, about her hair.  But then she showed how Bjanes used this same phrase in her printmaking to reclaim the phrase into a source of empowerment for beautiful, brown, women with big, curly hair.  Bjanes struggled with her own identity as a light skinned Latinx artist, and uses her work to acknowledge her own privilege while empowering the voices of her "darker skinned sisters."  Her art shows us how empowering it can be to reclaim words that have been engrained into womens' minds as something negative and/ or shameful.  The following is a picture of Bjanes wearing one of her own prints on a shirt.

Image result for kim bjanes beautiful brown

Monday, May 21, 2018

Presentation - Yreina Cervantez

An artist that was appealing from this week's presentations was Yreina Cervantez. The piece that I found was the most striking and powerful from those presented, and those that I've seen, is La Ofrenda. This is a mural in the First Avenue Bridge in Los Angeles painted in 1989 that has Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the UFWA. This mainly appealed to me, because most commonly when representing the farm workers union, Dolores is often pushed aside and Cesar Chavez is given all the credit, yet this painting gives all of the attention to Huerta. As I researched Cervantez, I read that because she had minimal exposure to Latinas in popular culture growing up, she made Latinas and her self-portraits an important part of her work. What was intriguing to me about this piece was the fact that it had been tagged over, and was easily fixed, because all that was removed was the top layer that protected it from being tagged. However, in the time it took to re-coat the mural, it was tagged again, and local youth helped repaint it. This artist, as I discovered, paints a lot to help viewers see that Chicanxs are living in their ancestral homelands, and aren't "immigrants."


Presentation: Juana Alicia

Out of all the presentations from this week, the artist that I really liked is Juana Alicia. What stood out to me was the painting mural called "Alto al Fuego/ Cease Fire". Instead of a regular mural, her series of rich and cultural murals convey a strong message. Alicia was inspired by the United States military's involvement in Central American civil wars. The picture shows a youth standing proudly against a backdrop of fields and mountains, while the foreground is dominated by two hands raised in resistance, guns pressing into the palms. As a youth myself, I can really relate to the youth in the painting. I can imagine the opportunities and experiences that these innocent youths have in the future.

However, it is disheartening to hear that this mural is one of the several that are vandalized. Curious of what happened to these murals, I then researched more about it and found out that after it was vandalized, she repainted "Alto al Fuego/Cease Fire" again, but with a darker color this time. She also created a mural that says " Stop! Vandalizing our murals, it dors not make u cool." This time, hoping that public will be more respectful towards these murals.

Presentation: Barbara Carrasco

After last week’s presentations, I realized that there is larger community of female artist, but more specifically Chicana artist. Some of the presentations really showed me the diversity of styles and backgrounds of Chicana Artist and the movement taking place to increase popularity and real representation of the Chicana Experience. The one that stood out to me the most was the one of Barbara Carrasco, presented by Amy Perez. Just like Amy, I also did my presentation on an artist who we leaned about in class. Though we did learn a lot about Carrasco, I chose this presentation for my blog because I feel that Amy had a lot more to offer as she presented a part from what he have learned in lecture. The image that stood out the most was “L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective, 1981”. Observing this mural more critically and closely, I did not realize how many historical and cultural symbols were in this mural. I also liked this image because, it marks a time of censorship of Chicano and Los Angeles History in favor of the dominant culture. I did not realize which parts and motifs from the mural needed censorship. During Amy’s presentation I did not know that there was a piece of the mural focusing on the camps that were made to house Asian based families during times of war. These little things is what I found fascinating during the presentation, and what I hope to accomplish when it is my turn to present.

Presentation: Kim Bjanes

In this blog post, I decided to talk about Kim Bjanes. I decided to pick her because I can really connect with her art and what they stand for. Her artwork and her print work is made for modern feminist that little Chicana girls can connect with. In the piece that is shown above, is one that one of my fellow classmates presented on. She stated that she really connected with this one as well because when she was a little girl and when she was growing up, she was called "grenuda" which means someone that has messy hair. I was also called this because I was called this when I was a little girl because I used to have crazy curly hair. But, Kim Bjanes reimagines this word, that is usually seen in a negative context and changes it to a positive one that becomes a proud identity. I like how she changes the negative images of being a woman of color and a Chicana woman and turns it an identity to be proud of. Kim's art is a way that young Chicanas can express their pride for their culture and how it connects with their identity. Another art piece that I really like from her as well is the print that says, "Brown, Badass, Bonita". I really liked it because it makes me feel powerful as a woman of color and especially as a Chicana woman. It makes me want to love the color of my skin and that I'm beautiful no matter what society might tell me about my skin.

Presentation: Angélica Becerra

Through the presentations, Angélica Becerra is one of the artists most impressive and unique to me. As the presentation mentioned, Angélica Becerra is a Latina woman which is very successful, she also is a Ph.D. student at UCLA.  Her works have a very strong personal characteristic in styles and colors. Sometimes with some powerful words and sentences such as the image I choose.
This image really catches my eyes not only because of the bright colors and the powerful words but also about how the colors incorporate together. The color red, yellow, and green at the bottom of the image make the whole painting much better and works to reflect the words make the words more dissolve into the painting.

Presentation: Barbara Carrasco

      I am amazed by all the presentations I saw last week. From the explanations to the art and artist itself, I gained an insight of the Chicana art community. What struck out the most to me was the fact that all of my classmates who presented were able to relate to the artist in some way. They spoke upon how they each had similar experiences and can relate to their skills.

      A presentation that particularly struck out to me was by my peer Amy Perez. I enjoyed the detail explanation about the talented artist, Barbara Carrasco. I can relate to her in the way that I also truly care about my beautiful LA. She represents her passion for LA history through her 43 panel mural called "L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective, 1981". This mural is jaw dropping! The fact that it is made up of 43 panels and organized in a chronological order to represent LA history is empowering. I enjoyed knowing that I can see a landscape full of events I can relate to. I see myself as the image of the lady to the far left. I find myself constantly thinking about history and questioning how life would be if history was changed around. 

Natalia Anciso Presentation


The artist that stood out to me from those that were presented was the artist Natalia Anciso. She is a Chicana-Tejana artist living and working in Oakland, CA. Natalia Anciso work is really exciting to me because I have worked with fabric/embroidery in the past and I can really appreciate the difficulty that comes from creating such beautiful works with such a delicate medium. With pen, watercolor, prisma, and graphite, Natalia Anciso illustrates highly detailed scenes from the black and brown communities and the relationships the state holds with these communities. Relationships that are of violence, oppression, and injustice along with illustrating the resistance and strength the communities have held for so long. Natalia Anciso comes from a line of migrant farmworkers such as myself. Directly from a U.S. / Mexico border town in Texas along the Rio Grande, Natalia Anciso has experienced what it is like to be a Chicana and a minority in this country and has been a witness to the injustices that inflict minority communities. She draws her inspiration from her own culture. Natalia Anciso depicts, at times, really hard images to swallow, because of the nature of their violence, with pen or graphite juxtaposed with vibrantly painted or drawn flower arrangements.
Image result for Natalia Anciso