I was born in this metropolis called New York, but my mother moved to Puerto Rico before I could record any visual memory of the city. As I grew up, my mother repeatedly told me stories of tall skyscrapers, subway rides, long winters, struggles, and the hypnotizing lights of Times Square. I painted in my mind a fantastic place of powerful gods and goddesses, monsters, and adventures in an area that was both fascinating and frightening. Then, American films filtered through a small black and white television; her stories began to take real shape. When the film West Side Story was shown in high school, the colorful and graphic intensity of the city started to dictate my artistic inclinations.Read More
New York taught me art has many points of view, you learn, and then you develop your own.
Jack Potter, an illustrator, and teacher became one of my artistic influences. He taught me the aesthetic value of the rough, messy, and extreme shapes in a drawing, concepts that defined my art. I began to create work in a graphic style with an unusual medium; masking tape.
I realized I never fully explored what I began years ago with tape. Now, I’m re-inventing this technique using the experiences and learnings of the FIT MFA program. New York always forces you to look at things with new eyes. It’s essential to challenge your perceptions, your point of view. We’ve seen an object or landscape a thousand times, but our interpretation makes the difference, it makes art.
My raw and immediate depiction of the city is somewhat impressionistic. The idea is to capture a moment. I combine references to create these images. To keep things fresh and unexpected, I work fast, and I do not sketch what I have in mind. There is a need in me to follow a flow, a feeling that informs my technique.
Experimenting with tape as a medium was challenging; the manipulation of the tape to create lines and forms had to strike the right balance. As a fashion illustrator and a graphic designer, I took the discipline of both art forms to create this body of work. In fashion, everything has to move; life is never static. In graphic design, you learn to communicate clearly and edit to the most fundamental. These two concepts also define what the city is all about, movement and clarity of purpose. Bold, unapologetic, in your face, that’s New York and it is reflected in my work.