• re: Against Modernity (source unknown)

    Thanks so much for the compliment about my work!

    Studying Mexico's history was sparked for the very reason that it isn't taught in history classes, as you point out about your educational experience. Conversely, someone might argue that it's not possible to teach every nation's history, or that maybe that's not a priority in US education. But I think that response  evades the notion of History as a narrative and/or erasure. Do we learn about the brutality of colonization and its legacies on First Nations peoples? We somehow begin at the 13 colonies and how they were founded by these nobel men, but never do we talk about them as owners of enslaved Africans. Issues such as these are buried and the notion of progress is espoused creating this idea that these atrocities were necessary and/or justifiable and just not that important.

    Being a first generation Mexican-American was really confusing in this context. I actually internalized a lot of hate about myself as a kid because I picked up on the fact that I was treated differently because of the color of my skin. I think in part this is reflective of the value our society, and by extension our education, places on who and what is normative. Central to my work has always been this dynamic of personal and collective histories.

    Ironically, it was through education when I was much older where I eventually learned in depth about other histories. Because I wasn't taught them I had to go looking for them. I took courses in US History and Mexican and Latin American (M/LAT) studies in community college and I also majored in Ethic Studies at UC Berkeley (along with Practice of Art).


    Thanks so much, I appreciate the questions!


    • I agree with you that even the history that we do study of other nations, as it relates to the United States, is from a skewed point of view. It is interesting the light in which history is painted based on varying perceptions. The US and other countries share the same history but the recordings are different as they are colored by the varying perspectives of the events.

      I love that you have chosen to explore the other side, the side that wasn’t readily presented to you. The notion of progress that you cite is clear in your art as well as your writing; I can see that you want the errors of the past to surface so we are not doomed to repeat history. I’m curious as to which side you adhere to in you work. Having been raised in one and cultivated from the other, you too have collective histories and perhaps inclinations. Do you paint your convictions or try to capture both sides to present a history to your viewers? Are they one in the same?