Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2018

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type




As a second generation Hispanic, I am a painter whose work is informed by my personal experience of displacement and longing to belong. In turn, I hope, this longing inspires an important dialogue about place, memory, otherness and belonging. I work in small, intimate scale, evoking narratives of vastness yet also of solitude. The landscape and the natural environment I represent, become populated by anonymous creatures. Both animal and human, posed in semi-natural and semi-artificial settings.

I was born in Texas and grew up in Missouri. The images I produce are often tranquil and surreal yet are grounded through their inherent familiarity. My use of paint serves as a language that transforms poetry into visual art. I use poetic approach to reflect upon the so-called natural world. Frequently, I relate and even exchange, animals and humans in my paintings. I propose narratives, which express the problematic relationship society has with the natural world. My paintings provide an invented landscape that acts as a metaphor for beings who have been displaced or uprooted from their original environments.

The characters and beings that appear in my work symbolize marginalization. Through ironic humor and understated theatricality my work points at the similarities all biological life shares. The habitats I portray are often unknown and artificial, reflecting notions of absence and melancholia. My work is often underscored by the unavoidable, anthropomorphist approach yet it offers metamorphic shifts. My paintings re-contextualize the unfamiliarity of subjects, to draw attention to connections. I emphasize those relationships in my paintings because I believe that the respect of animals would lead to a more empathetic society.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Thesis Advisor

Monika Weiss

Studio/Primary Advisor

Zlatko Cosic

Studio/Primary Advisor

Jamie Adams

Committee Member

Brandon Anschultz

Committee Member

Brandon Anschultz

Artist's Statement

As a Hispanic artist, my work is informed by my personal experiences and struggles with belonging, displacement and absence. Which in turn, I hope inspires an important dialogue about the relationship between how the self is shaped by the remembrance of trauma and otherness. The work that I typically produce is intimate in scale, evoking narratives of vastness yet also of solitude. The realities that I create reflect the problematic relationship I perceive humanity having with the natural environment. In my paintings, the landscapes and habitats I produce are populated with anonymous creatures, both animal and human alike. Frequently, I relate and even exchange animals and humans in my work. I produce tranquil and surreal paintings, which are situated between an emotional state of melancholy and nirvana. Through my images, I focus on relationships because like my ancestors I remain underpinned by the belief system that all biological life is interconnected. Further, the characters I illustrate act a metaphor for beings who have been displaced, or otherwise uprooted from their original environments. These beings symbolize the marginalization of life viewed as the other.

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