Image by Yeray Gomez, 474st photography
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Puerto Rico was a distant, nebulous place that art allowed me to re-imagine and re-envision. This process came to drive my art practice and was the impetus behind my decision to rematriate. I returned to my ancestral womb of Borikén in 2014, where I have been based since. Here colonialism continues as a living, breathing beast. Art, therefore, is a decolonial strategy that I use to sharpen, document and advance my own liberation praxis while contributing to a greater, collective liberatory process.
My aesthetics are informed by the cosmic, magical ways in which my homeland rises up to transcend the confines of colonialism. Seeing the cosmos reflected in the magical waters of Vieques’ famed bioluminescent bay inspired me to paint bioluminescence and nebulas. Coupled with my continued practice of my family’s espiritismo tradition, these works on black backgrounds are further explorations into the dynamics of spirit and light energy. They envision liberation beyond political struggle to a transcendent spirit practice. This journey placed me in a poignant position to endure and transcend the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the near five months of darkness that followed in my home and studio. Inspired by the bioluminescence of fireflies in post-hurricane darkness, my latest project, CucubaNación, takes lessons from our environment to manifest and radiate our own light, to transcend colonialism, and to envision and embody a new nation of resilient, liberated souls.