Postcolonial images merge with children’s pop culture to produce eerily alluring abstract scenes on Mylar and paper. Clusters of lines and layers of color dominate space creating dense hybrid forms. Reinterpreted cartoon characters like Astro Boy, Pinocchio and Peter Pan become transmitters of imagined histories.
My work draws from the cognitive process of image and language appropriation I learned by being around my nephews with Autism. Their interest in cartoons and animated films go far beyond childish obsession and are their source for language and communication. They often mimic lines from their favorite films to contribute to conversation. My nephews pull from familiar imagery and ideas to help build connections to the world around them. I think about their understanding of this complex world through these types of images and utilize a similar process of appropriation.
In my work the act of drawing serves a dual purpose. I'm both composing an image and participating in the act of “drawing together.” Coloring books and animation, 18th century newspaper etchings and paintings such as those of Puerto Rican Impressionist Francisco Oller coalesce into a study on identity formation—an investigation of race, nation, sexuality, and gender.
My interest in the past is informed by issues of power found in the colonial narrative, especially that of the U.S. and its territories in which school children were subjected to deculturlization practices. In my drawings the child is the object of a performance—the embodiment of the interchange of cultural historical forces that simultaneously reinforce and challenge the fluidity inherent in identity.