What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?
That we are all not so different from each other as we think. My practice highlights what makes an individual distinctive but also part of a common human experience. We are not carbon copies of each other, but we are part of a collective sharing similar experiences. While we may have variation in the specifics, for example our name, culture, family, etc., the amalgamation of what makes us who we are is relatable despite our differences.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Different life experiences and artists. Felix Gonzalez-Torres is a big inspiration, and I still think about the MCA show Without You I’m Nothing; Art and Its Audience that took place in 2010. Even though I was only in art school when that came out, the unique interactive aspect of the show stuck with me.
Do you have any experiences that have impacted your art?
Graduating from school and getting married gave me the opportunity to remove my biological father’s last name but my name change had me consider the importance of the different things that make up our identity; our names, families, upbringing, surroundings, etc. Speaking to friends we were able to relate to each other on these topics although we came from different backgrounds.
Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?
My current practice is centered around the idea that we aren’t as different as it seems at first glance. I hope by pointing out how much in common we all have, that challenges existing barriers. Realizing how much you have in common with someone from a completely different background can be eye opening.
What are your long-term artistic goals?
To create artwork accessible to a wide range of communities and create workshops open to all who are interested in creating. I work with a non-profit, teaching art classes in CPS schools, and am facilitating the installation of artwork in empty storefronts, bringing artwork out to those who might not normally have the opportunity or interest in stopping by a traditional art gallery.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Go for it. Experiment with new materials, reach out to fellow artists. Don’t let fear of rejection or failure stop you from trying something new.