This is one of my latest pieces that I have been trying to carve out time to work on for the past couple of months. I’ve been wanting to expand on my pieces that addresses how women are perceived in society, in particular, women of color. I touched on it subtly in my last piece, but I plan to take this one full steam ahead and discuss some of the issues that women of color have to deal with on a day to day basis. This one is going to take a lot longer than I expected due to me wanting to get things just right.
This piece is something that has been on my list to create for a while, but I finally decided to put it in motion when I saw the open call for the “Where We Are” show at the Puffin Foundation in Teaneck NJ. I’ve been wanting to submit some work to them, but I haven’t had anything on topic with their shows since they are usually very political in nature. This piece called “Career Goals” is about the glass ceiling that women of color encounter when trying to advance in their careers. Working in the corporate sector, I’ve had the pleasure of picking up more job responsibilities without the proper title or a pay increase, and years after leaving a position, I learned that I was making $6,000 less annually than my male counterpart in the same title as me. This piece hits home in so many ways for me and I’m glad that I was able to figure out how to put it together. The busts and the men are made out of paper clay, and lambswool was used for the hair. With the men on top of the “glass”, there is a smaller one facing the opposite direction of the group, he represents the few minority males who get to climb the corporate ladder, but often work in isolation. I plan to make more pieces that explore these type of topics that affect people of color.
In the aftermath of the unspeakable event that occurred on November 9th, 2016, I found myself in a group show called “Uprise/ Angry Women”, responding to our new political climate. The show consisted of 80 women artists whose work was deeply involved in issues such as women’s rights, race, economics, and the future of this country. I normally don’t care for participating in shows with that many artists, but considering that it was created in response to a fear mongering, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, unpresidential, climate change denying, unqualified, uneducated, narcissist taking the highest office in the country, you’re damn skippy I was going to get involved. I decided to submit my piece “Women’s Troubles” which highlights the dual roles that women have to balance with working full time and being expected to be the caretaker at home. Unbeknownst to me, I would also be in a show, and an artist talk with Rose McGowan, she was pretty bad ass!
So here’s an update on this piece. He was originally going to be a commission for another artist, but that fell through by the time I was just about done with him. I decided to finish working on this piece since I don’t have too many male dolls under my belt. The biggest challenge for me with working on guy dolls is the styling, there’s very little room to hide imperfections. The clothing such as pants and shirts have to be pretty much tailored to fit, unlike a dress that can be loosely wrapped around and sewn in place. Another thing that I don’t bother too much with is the ears or the head shape. Most of the time I just put hair on my pieces, so getting the shape of the back of the head to be perfect and creating ears isn’t usually a concern for me. I am also terrible at sewing, so I find the notion of making pants extremely intimidating. With this piece I had to just face my fears, whip out the sewing machine, figure out how to thread it without help from mom, put my big girl pants on and get the job done. I must say that I love the way he came out, I need to get more practice in with creating more MALEndollies!
I took a much needed break to San Juan just a day after my show “Charm and Vinegar” at the Bronx Art Space closed. I literally waited and stalked around the gallery till 4:45, which was fifteen minutes before it closed, packed up all my work, headed home and packed my bags to leave the next day! It was lovely
This was my first time ever attending the Chashama Gala, and it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before in person. So much craziness going on in every corner, but it was a lot of fun. I had four of my larger sculptures there for the night, and I am thankful that I was able to leave them in place so that I could walk around and take a look at everything. Most of the other artists were performers, so they didn’t have this luxury as I did. There was a BDS&M room, live music, live painters, dancers and a group of people from “Lust” who prepared sushi and placed it on naked people for guests to eat off of. It was a one night only event, so I had to wait for them to drop off my work in the morning. I hope to be chosen to participate next year as well!
I had my first show in Chelsea, and it was actually for my video coverage and photos that I took during the Black Lives Matter protests. I was tired of hearing the rhetoric on the news and from people who have never dealt with police racially profiling them, so I decided to show the side of the demonstrations that the news wouldn’t cover; peace, love, art and positive thinking. Every time you would turn on the news at the time, you would see that same damn CVS on fire in Baltimore, and the coverage made it seem as if everyone were angry rioters and looters. That one incident shaped the whole narrative for people rightfully protesting police brutality, and it made people believe that everyone demonstrating had bad intentions. With my video, I showed many of the positive and uplifting speeches that was given, the locations of demonstrations and the creative and beautiful signs that people made for the protests.
A Riot Is the Language of the Unheard -Dr Martin Luther King Jr
This weekend, I took a trip down to Philadelphia to check out an artist opportunity in their state prison. It has been out of commission since the seventies, and a non-profit took it over to allow people to take tours to learn more about it. In addition, the organization has been inviting artists to work on installations that deal with issues that are related to prison such as reform, life in prison and who is more likely to end up there. If an artist is chosen, they are given a stipend and a full prison cell to create their installation that will occupy the space for 2 years. This is by far, hands down, one of the creepiest places that I’ve ever visited, but I am will to accept the challenge if my proposal is chosen. Wish me luck!
A cement sculpture that I colored with red acrylic paint. I’ve read in places that there are pigment dyes to color cement with, but I found them to be a bit expensive. I’m not sure if the paint that I used will break down the structure of the cement down the line, but I know that it didn’t hinder the cement curing process. I later added a layer of Bondo car body filler to test out the texture and see how it would perform outdoors. Seems to be fine so far and I love how smooth this stuff sands down. I will be posting more photos of my research as I find out more information!
I have been on a quest lately to try out stronger, weatherproof materials that I will be able to handle without using special equipment. In this round, I have been playing with cement and mixing it in a metal pot. I put a thin coat over a clay figure that I created for the sake of experimenting. I like the rough texture of it, but I would like to be able to smooth it out a bit more than I already tried to do here. My next material will be stucco as I have been reading good things about it and how it’s a bit easier to work with.