Works by Diana Umaña, Criselda Vasquez, and Kezia Harrell.
"My large scale figurative works on canvas and paper are a response to the empty promises the United States made when the "American" dream was pitched to my parents. These pieces are portraits that show what poor immigrant youth and first generation youth looks like. My work creates space to contemplate, offers solace and homage to those that experience violence through whitewashing. Although my works are personal portraits, they are a critique to counter the experience of stereotypes that burden immigrants and their punk children." –Diana
"My paintings are best described as visual comments on the largely hidden world of the undocumented Mexican-American experience. I create images that visually illustrate this community. I paint portraits and still lifes that reveal my community in their own authentic environment and expose how I as an American artist experience two vastly different worlds in American society. My paintings layer the American culture over the Mexican world. I feel society needs to be aware of the humanity on the other side of the door. I want to bring their very humane faces into the light and out of the shadows. My portrait paintings presents a few of my family’s most raw, honest, facial expressions in poses that they feel comfortable with." –Criselda
"I am drawn to Art’s ability to provide African-American slave descendants a perennial space. A space in which, subjugation is constantly being submerged into the conditions of whimsicality. I am interested in the complexities of coming to terms with one’s American-based African identity, through material culture." –Kezia
Criselda Vasquez, The New American Gothic; Oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.