What is the central idea of your concentration?
My concentration explores cultural identity through portraiture in oil paint, watercolor, and colored pencils. I based the paintings around the different ethnicities of my close friends and incorporating that into realistic portraits of each one of them. I focused on trying to find objects, traditional attire, symbols, flowers, and animals that represented each one of their different ethnicities and cultures by adding these to the background and for most of the outfits in the paintings.
How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea?
In the beginning of my concentration I thought I wanted to create portraits of women and show the culture of Mexico, which is where I was born and raised. After finishing those paintings in that style and with that concept as shown in photos 1 and 2, I was not content and thought I should incorporate other cultures using my close friends as my inspiration because I have always admired the beauty and uniqueness in different cultures from around the world. I started out with rather large size paintings as seen on images 4 and 12. For work 12 I used my friend Leslie as my model. Leslie is Mexican and I decided to incorporate the fabric of traditional dresses they use for folkloric dancing for the background in the painting. For work 4 I used my friend Sage and used her Native American background for this painting. I used feathers to create a pattern for this piece. I also incorporated a lot of floral designs from each culture in a big part of the paintings as seen on images 1,5,7,8,9,11, and 12. For work 11, I used my friend Kimora as my model and I decided to cover the background with the national flower of Laos, which is the Plumeria rubra. I also included the Coqui frog for work 11 using my Puerto Rican friend Adriana as the model.
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