When I was a child, everyone around me was a stranger. I could not recognize faces. Drawing/sculpting them helped me learn and remember, and became an obsession that has never waned. Over time, my facial recognition skills have improved, but I still compulsively express myself by making faces, whether they are masks, heads, or busts. It’s something my hands automatically do whenever they are idle.
My work at Mission College in the spring of 2017 was inspired by the desire for more cultural and ethnic diversity. I noticed that the classically proportioned, ideal face that we are taught to measure all other faces by, is a white face. White people, and their Caucasian features, are overrepresented in the art world as well as in American culture in general. I wanted to expand my repertoire of facial structures by making a deliberate effort to observe people of non-Caucasian ancestry and incorporate their features into my own ideas of what a face is.
When I transferred to SJSU in the fall of 2017, I began to explore both the concepts driving the work and the expressive possibilities of texture. Lament shows best the direction in which I am going – toward a nebulous, almost dreamlike image that appears restless, as if it is transforming into something else. The viewer is confronted with the beguiling, sometimes unreliable, effect of memory. I want my works to look and feel like ancient artifacts.