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Artist Statement

My artwork examines multicultural identity through fragments of stereotypical and ritualized objects and actions. I rediscover and reinterpret what it means to be an American. I am interested in the recurring relevance of images, such as images of hands, like 40,000-year-old cave paintings of hand stencils and how similar they look to emoji hands. Clay is a material with its own connotations, and as a geographic marker, it represents a place and is as nomadic as we are. Clay is one of the few materials used today in the same way as in ancient civilizations.

We breathe in the murky water of Southern California’s Inland Empire where the smog from Los Angeles is trapped and nestles into the valleys and blurs the mountains into memories, and the moon is barely a moon. A few old crows climb into the air on wind-blown stairs. I make work about how it still feels as if we don’t have a place to sit during lunchtime. About how the topography of our mountains line up with the topography of our faces. About how my abuelita speaks only Spanish. About how for Thanksgiving we eat lasagna and tamales. About how my brother wears the American flag button-down my dad wore when he was naturalized. About how wind and animals cross borders but sometimes people can’t. About how that double yellow line and linear horizon of thoughts move in the same patterns—their habits never changing—over a hill, next to a yard, into the house, covering couches and roaches. The Californian Pedestrian follows the road as public space. Vantage points of people driving, a conquistador on a horse, someone walking the desert, all projected on the mixing dirt. Writing like the cursive line that connects each letter of the current, I hope to display, to represent ambivalence, ambivalence or ambiguity of the issues or non-issues of decisions. Our ability to prefer one date over a date of the same size and color. The date farmers letting the dates dry one at a time, falling when they’re ready. When we’re ready to decide, and what makes us choose. To choose our vantage point of driving a car, riding a horse, walking a road. To follow the lines that wind in front and make the rules of public space safe. We all use napkins that are sewn to our hands, in the shape of our hands, and our seatbelts are made of the arms of our parents telling us, “You are the only sunflower that the sun follows.”

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