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Form & Concept presents Apapachando La Matria, a series of suspended drawings and paintings on amate paper that depict five generations of women in my matrilineal family line. The monumental installation debuted at Vladem Contemporary's Window Box space and is on view at Form & Concept through April 2024. 

Apapa installed at F&C.jpeg


My installations and commissions designed for public spaces are viewer-centric. They hold complex, layered, visual narratives that occupy and activate large spaces. How people physically navigate the work is what shapes their relationship to, and understanding of, the work. This is very exciting, and different than, say, a series of discrete objects on a wall. I’m interested in how people interact with these works—how scale and material shapes experiences of self, space, and place.


I turn to drawing when I’m curious, when I need to understand. It is one way to ask questions. In recent years, I started drawing on amate, the Mesoamerican bark paper of the ancient codices. This paper feels like soft and supple skin. It reminds me to be gentle and responsive; that it will yield secrets if I handle it with tenderness. Amate is a physical and conceptual ground where I bring ancestral history into dialogue with the present.


Papel picado is a traditional, Mexican decorative craft made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper. There is a type of humility, simplicity, and delight in papel picado. It forever reminds me of my mother, who loved the folkloric México-mágico of her childhood and subsequently shared this love with my sister and me. In this body of work, I innovate on papel picado to depict immersive, fantastical landscapes.


My formal artistic training was as a painter in the tradition of Western European oil painting. We studied Cézanne as the father of modern painting as much as we studied his French and Italian forebears. My paintings have always tried to synthesize formal attributes of this tradition—carefully modeled figures painted from life, or, say, deep pictorial space—with the folkloric colors, patterns, spaces, and bodies of my lived experience as a Mexican-American woman. I use painting to summon a lush and generous world of female power.