In June of 2019 I was selected to participate in the Marist Venice Biennale Program. During my time in Venice, I worked on a body of work, which was featured in the Marist LdM Biennale 2019 Exhibition at the end of June. While there, I also had the opportunity to experience the work of contemporary artists who were featured at the Biennale and visit museums where I was surrounded by works of the past. My time in Italy was an experience which expended my views on what art can be, and the messages an artist can create through powerful works.
I grew up in the American southwest where I am surrounded by beautiful natural rock formations, red cliffs, multi-story skylines and alluring canyons. In Venice the landscape is replaced by meandering canals, gondolas and magnificent floating buildings built upon wooden platforms. My work created during my time in Venice was very influenced by the environment, and the evidence is clear especially in the work Untitled Venice. In this piece, I recreated the textures and objects from the city, which became familiar and significant to me during my stay.
The piece Voyage reflects my feelings of excitement, nervousness and motivation I felt as I traveled to Europe for the first time. Here in Santa Fe, you can find ravens all over the city. These birds are viewed as creators. As I was on the plane, crossing the largest amount of water I have ever seen, I imagined myself as a raven aboard a homemade raft on my way to an unknown country.
Flower Woman is my response to the tourism in Venice, which is akin to Santa Fe. My initial concept was to create a piece that reflects how the Native people of Venice become objectified by tourists, the same problem exists in Santa Fe, where I am part of the objectification. All over the city in Venice, flowers are over spilling doorways and windowsills, these areas become very attractive for tourists looking for a photo opportunity. Every day, as I walked around the city, I saw the Native people blending into the background like the flowers that can be seen all over Venice.