Multimedia: Photo Series "Mnemonic Devices: Ver Como Recordar," from "The Arts of Conjure in the Age of Digital Reproduction" (SLR photography 2010-Present)
Full Length Documentary: From Las mujeres, The Women: Latina Lives, American Dreams
Digital Film-Short: From "Silent Migrations" Series (2012-Present)
Paintings: From "Campos de Castilla," acrylic screen process from Cibachrome (1989-1998)
Creative Writing: From Poetry Journals, Quack, a Pato Poetry Collective Journal, NYC, and The Plum Review, Washington, DC (1980s-1990s):
from Identity Claims (2014-present)
Hope Sandoval always sings near darkness,
but sometimes in New Mexico's desert light,
—filming, videography, being what it is—
and though she never read Desert Fabuloso,
she knows the importance of accompaniment:
tambourine, harmonica, glockenspiel, shaker,
But never vihuelas, violins, trumpets
or Chela Vargas' late attachment to rasp.
She has a reputation for shyness, escape.
Esperanza, reigns and falters,
fades into you.
Before life in academia I apprenticed with two extraordinary artists who educated me about the politics of visual representation, the role of art as a cultural object of study, as well as traditional studio technique: Eva Lloréns (Eva Lloréns Allen), and Mirene Gómez. They were, as anyone remotely familiar with them or their work can attest, very different sorts of artists and thinkers yet they both shared an unparalleled and deliberative patience for (re)producing form through color.
Eva Lloréns, the daughter of Spanish painter Francisco Lloréns (himself of disciple of Joaquín Sorolla), trained at Yale in the late sixties with the established abstract-expressionist painters and theoreticians of the day. By the time I met her in the late eighties, she had abandoned all the pretenses attached to the more formal conceits of her training and reclaimed the landscape of her native Galicia as one of her principle subjects of composition. After she took her MFA, she wanted to stay in the USA (the Allen in her surname indexes a related story about this) and went on to receive a PhD in Spanish Peninsular literature with a thesis on the "Generation of '98" and the plastic arts that was directed by Manolo Durán at Yale. The project later evolved into a magnificent book, Valle-Inclán y la plástica (Madrid: Ediciones Ínsula, 1975), which incorporated her interdisciplinary loves before it became fashionable to do interdisciplinary work: literature and the plastic arts. Even at the end of Franco's reign when the book appeared, it caused a sensation after it was censored by the Spanish Ministry of Culture for her inclusion of Picasso in her study. For anyone familiar with the history of Picasso's Guernica, this episode deserves scholarly attention. (Indeed, before she passed away, Eva left the original page proofs and the censored images for just this purpose.)
Cuban born Mirene Gómez trained with the Cuban expatriate painter José María Mijares, and has been producing and mentoring students for over 30 years. She and her mother Irene have been two of the most prolific Cuban American "Latina" artists working in the United States though in relative anonymity because of their uncompromising resistance to the established art community's implicit insistence on the thematics of "third-symbologies" in culturally marked aesthetic expression. Not having the talent of either of these two extraordinary painters, I turned most often to photography and the new digital media for the sheer and still developing possibilities of the medium; though I never really abandoned painting (save some years in graduate school when I combined earlier undergraduate obsessions in cultural theory with the role of literature as representational straw-man in its discussions).
The items to the left sample some of my creative writing, painting, and digital media work.