In 2013, I participated in a 5 week artist residency in Oaxaca, Mexico.
While searching my environment for inspiration, I quickly fell in love with the chaotic, colorful environment of Oaxaca, enmeshed with the ancient indigenous traditions, and modern political dilemmas.
This piece is a collections of over 25 small paintings which were each inspired by actual places and things I experienced while exploring my new environment in Mexico. With mixed feelings of both awe and horror of the rich Mexican culture and tumultuous status quo, this collage is a reflection of my enamored state, intertwined with a sense of sadness.
The pink crosses reference the femicide that has haunted Mexico for decades, and express my condolences and awareness as a female artist seeking to inspire women with my art. While I myself felt powerless many times in Mexico, I became increasingly aware of sexism that stifles the female voice, and chose to portray a strong, nurturing feminine figure overlooking the culture below, as if looking out for and praying for it. This figure, although appearing goddess-like, is a lesser known image of Frida Kahlo. The appropriation of Kahlo's image has been exploited throughout Mexico as a sign of nationalism. I wanted to reclaim her image, as a female, as symbolic of femininity and feminism.
This 8'x 9' wheat paste collage was met with both fury and approval. It was torn down no less than 2 weeks after it's installation.