As an artist, I use a variety of materials to construct realities that help me cope with the often-contradictory nature of my Mexican-American identity as formed growing up in Chicago. Basically surrounded by family and friends who locate their roots in Mexico,these close-knit communities of immigrants provided me with a strong sense of place within the American setting chosen by my immediate family. However influenced by Mexican culture in my home life, attending US schools ensured that a quintessential American upbringing was at the core of my identity, yet regardless of the familiarity or comfort these social and educational backdrops provided, there was always a constant state of flux that seemed to divide the two cultural subsets. The experience of this struggle has driven my work for quite some time. Through the years, I have become more and more intrigued by the strange sense of in-between-ness that emerges from my cultural hybridity, especially the effects of transnational living.
My work as a Mexican-American artist explores this state of psychological ambiguity. I create constructed realities that are meant to bring the viewer into a similar state of identity limbo. Using a combination of materials that often are not meant to be together, one is in a circumstance of not being able to associate oneself to one thing or the other but instead transform into an intermediary between the two different contradicting elements. Visually, this union of materials becomes a metaphor for cultural metamorphosis, a melding of things that is commonly manifest in the lack of architectural continuity that permeates small rural Mexican towns, where in recent times, the traditional architecture which was already eclectic, is being replaced with urbanized structures.
Making reference to this unique trait, my work plays with the formal qualities of material to create a simulation of ambiguous realities. By doing so, it not only alludes to the constructed backdrop of my Mexican hometown, but also makes symbolic gestures that represent constant mental and physical states of flux. It juxtaposes construction items/objects like wood and metal with paint and other materials including, but not limited to, resin, wire, paper, and canvas to create environments that imitate these multiple realities. By manipulating materials to play a different role from that which was originally intended, I push beyond the boundaries of their physical attributes and create playful environments that bring up questions as to the duality of things and how, when combined, elements create a whole new set of facts.