I was born in Colombia, South America and raised in New York City
The art of my ancestors, the early peoples of Africa, Meso-America and the Pacific Islands, has always been a touchstone and inspiration for me. Natural history museums are my favorites because, there, I can be immersed in the artifacts of prehistory - works of nature, fossils and ancient tools that show the processes, creativity and intelligence of our ancient grandfathers and grandmothers. Like them, I work mostly with simple, earth-bound materials such as pigment, clay and wood to create figurative sculpture and paintings.
Though my work is not politically motivated, my choices of materials and subject matter, particularly racial and ethnic content, has placed my work in that realm. And I embrace it. Within the hierarchy of the contemporary art world there has been little room for the voices of artists of color or those working with non-precious materials. My awareness of this has led me to continue to make art from my perspective as an immigrant, and to use humble materials to place more of this work in the world in spite of the biases that exist. To achieve this, I work in a variety of materials, using whatever means needed to create a potent image. I cycle through and sometimes combine sculptural and two- dimensional materials gaining momentum and insight as I go along.
I value the handmade and am deeply affected by the enduring power of indigenous art and craft. And as a result, ideas of the progression of time and memory’s mutability play a large role in my thinking. I seek to make works that are difficult to pin down in terms of time and place, to evoke a sense of the timeless- to speak to an elemental part of the human soul.