Lupitalandia is series of paintings that addresses my childhood experiences, traditions and memories by using folk toys, such as “Lupita” dolls, for self projection. I’m interested in revisiting memories I had as a child celebrating holidays such as Day of the Dead, Christmas and Easter. In addition to family stories, my grandmother would tell us mythological stories with colorful characters and places.
I came to the United States at the age of ten and grew up in a “not-so-diverse” suburb of Chicago. At home I was raised with traditional Mexican customs but outside the home I was actively engaged in Americanized culture. Lupitalandia embodies the beginning of this hybrid experience. The United States represented a fantasy world to me, like Disneyland with colorful characters, castles, singing birds and flying elephants – “The Happiest Place on Earth”.
To be bilingual is a daily heritage I'm proud of, one of the greatest gifts I have ever known. However, as a result, life can be confusing. The varying degrees of conduct, culture and language required between two worlds can feel like a loss of personal identity, perhaps most evidenced in those moments when I feel neither fluent nor articulate enough to express anything in English or in Spanish. On the other hand, there are those times when I feel richly laden with vocabulary, sense of place, understanding, sentiment, and belonging. Navigating between comfort ability and confusion calls for adaptation, flexibility, and the faith that these challenges have defined me with a new identity.
In my work I blend the Lupita dolls, a very traditional and popular object, with a twist of surrealistic elements. They are a reflection of cultural tradition, experiences, my ancestors, fears and hopes.