MICA Competitive Scholarship 2018-2019

  • Cowboy
    6"x 10"
    Digital images from original Acrylic paintings 
    Cowboy is a deconstruction of the cowboy as an American myth. The book’s form references that of children’s picture books: its thick, heavy, cover and pages reinforcing the idea that the cowboy and what it stands for has been nothing more than a story. Its goofy and flamboyantly colorful images contrasting with the austere, masculine image of the cowboy. The cover is an appropriation of Richard Prince’s Cowboy, itself  an appropriated image from a Marlboro ad.
    Each of its spreads are symbolic of an aspect of the cowboy: “Big Iron”, a reference to the Marty Robbins’ song of the same name,  is symbolic of the idea of the lone, gun-toting, man solving the world’s problems with his six shooter; “Manifest Destiny” references the idea of the cowboy settling the “Wild West”, a land already populated by Native Americans and Mexicans; and “Paul Bunyan the Cowboy” stands the cowboy side by side with another piece of American folklore, Paul Bunyan, the lumberjack, and his blue ox.   ​​​​​​​
  • Tryptic
    22”x 18”
    India Ink on paper
    Tryptic is a series of 3 india ink drawings I made. The first drawing is me again revisiting the idea of the cowboy, the allure of the hyper-masculine ideal, and the toxic and isolating consequences of pursuing such a lifestyle; the second drawing is me reflecting on my anxieties; and the third drawing is me again revisiting the disconnect between me and my family.
  • The American Dream Finally Made Real
    4.25"x 2.5"x 0.5"
    The American Dream Finally Made Real is a piece I made in response to discovering some old “English for Spanish-speaker” cassette tapes from my parents’ room. I grew up seeing ads for similar products on TV constantly, and just thinking about how much of a scam they were: products like these prioritize quick learning of easy, conversational, phrases while advertising mastery of a language. So it was kind of a revelation finding such a scam in my parents room, since my parents still don’t speak English after 14 years.
    When making the piece I thought about the appeal, and necessity for such a tape; I thought about the appeal, and necessity of our immigration, and how my parents did it in hope of a better and easier life, but have found nothing but struggle.
  • Albums
    5"x 10" 
    After making The American Dream Finally Made Real, I made a set of albums exploring the idea further: the tracklist of Songs of a Man Losing the Battle being a record of my mother’s work schedule; and Songs of a Man Losing the Battle being about the United States. The decision to use the form of a vinyl album was not only as a response to the analogue form of TADFMR, but because of the idea that these albums can never be played, their songs never heard.
  • What Home?
    6'2"x 3'6"x 1'
    Scavenged Cardboard, Acrylic, Paper
    What Home? is a self-portrait of-sorts that I made reflecting on what I felt was a liminal self: being born in Cuba and all of my familial ties stemming from that place and culture, and being raised mostly in the U.S. and having no real memory or experience of Cuba; and feeling like I belonged in neither place. The figure’s weird, almost amorphous shape reflecting that liminal-ness; and the materials reflecting the process of scavenging a cohesive self from disparate parts,
  • People I've Met
    4"x 8"
    Acrylic on paper
    People I’ve Met is a silly 28 page book I made recounting experiences I had with strangers I met by happenstance.
  • Subtle Songs of Shhh
    6"x 5"
    Watercolor on paper
    Subtle Songs of Silence is a small book I made about loneliness, disconnection, and the rare kindness of listening.
  • Flyer
    8.5"x 11"
    Sharpie on paper
    This flyer is one of a set I made advertising connection and human intimacy.
  • Illustrations
    Clockwise from top left: 8.5”x 11”, 6”x 7”, 8.5”x 11”, 5”x 6”
    Markers on paper