There has been a strong conflict between ideologies throughout my upbringing. I felt lured into beliefs of historical and cultural shame. I would think that everything outside Puerto Rico was better. The aesthetics of European culture were much better – everything made in the United States was better. I considered the aesthetics of Puerto Rican art to be cheesy and lame, empty of information, and culturally weak. I learned the history of the island from a lense of shame and disgrace where the American assimilation was better. Throughout my adulthood, I have felt exiled from my own culture without leaving the country.
Concerned about my Spanish and English low grades, a high school principal asked what language you speak. This question has been with me ever since. I learned to speak and think in both languages, enough to have an "Arroz con Culo" as my mother would say. We call this Spanglish.
My work is very much about self-discovery, an attempt to fill a void of disconnect, to overflow space in between nature and me, an unresolved longing effect. "Ni de aquí ni de allá."
I'm looking for ways to overturn these nostalgic references by exploring personal connections to family land, childhood memories, and more profound questions that connect the soil as a material and the landscape as a basis for identity.