ABOUT THE ARTIST
I am doing my essay on Suzy Gonzalez. Suzy Gonzalez is an artist based in San Antonio, Texas. Gonzalez focuses on food and art in a way to decolonize art and art history. When Gonzlaez says that she focuses on food, she means going back to her roots and having a plant based diet. She believes that veganism is the best way to connect with her ancestors. Gonzalez decolonizes art by understanding the background to each art material. She mentions that acrylic paints have a Mexican origin while oil paints have a European origin. She understands the differences and when to mix them together. Her work is heavily influenced with Mexican culture, equality and justice for communities. She has attended many residencies such as Vermont Studio Center, Trelex Residency, the Wassaic Residency and much more. Attending these residencies allows her to improve in her style in art.
The work that grabbed my attention is Figure 7 from What Are the Conditions That Led Us to This? (are gallery). This artwork was made out of traditional corn husks (papel de maiz) which illustrates the Mexican culture in her. She made a lady out of the corn husks which in my opinion, resembles a Mexican lady. In this gallery she has plenty of different characters she created trying to show the difference within communities and how they relate to her as well as the struggles she has faced. Another interesting artwork that I found was her Maiz Protest Signs. These signs were made out of corn husks as well. The signs say, “Bridges not walls”, No hate no fear Immigrants are Welcome here”, Water is Life and much more. I found these signs to be interesting because they were made. It was very creative to make signs about things that are happening right now in this country and by relating back to her culture. I think it is really cool when artists can relate to their artwork whether it is culturally or personally.
I could not find any videos interviewing Gonzalez, but I did find one where she talks about a mural. She creates this mural where there are two groups of people facing each other with their hands touching each other. Her reason to create this mural was to make it come to the understanding that “even if we think we are different we are not that different” says Gonzalez in the video. By saying this, it is clear to understand that she cares about the community and people who live there. She is not up for the violence but more for the peace.
SYNTHESIS / MY EXPERIENCE
What I enjoyed about looking at Suzy Gonzalez work was that she speaks the truth. Her artwork talks about the different ways people think and how we can all relate to specific things. I think her creativity is very interesting just how she used corn husks to create a person and to make signs as well. It is cool to see Latinos doing stuff in the art scene because it just goes to show that we are capable of doing anything. This was an interesting artist and I think I will be looking at more similar artists and see how I can show support.