Art as (Political) Storytelling

Roses_3

The Girls, 2017. 24 x 36, acrylic on canvas

What is the story? I’m always hesitant to share when it comes to abstract painting. I truly believe in the affective nature of art – it’s ability to conjure new sensations (and stories) contingent on the viewer. But here goes:

I originally painted a burning landscape, saturated by glowing red hills and blackened trees. In contrast was a sea of turquoise and gold – a haven in which creatures could dive into, fleeing a charred abyss.

It dawned on me that the image of fire was so compelling because I had just read the story about the Virgin de la Asuncion tragedy/travesty, in which 40 girls perished in a fire after being locked up.

When I think of the girls, I think of the loss of brilliant and bright lives (gold medallions, the heart of rose before it seeps into red). I dream of preserving forever their capacity for hope and rage, trapped in that home – and the tempestuous, passionate, creative and beautiful lives extinguished too soon.

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