Both Mi Madrina Cruz and Yareth’s first iterations were photographs. I found the first rummaging through the few family albums we have and was drawn to how someone had photographed la Vivora de la Mar at my madrina’s wedding in Mexico decades ago. That wasn’t the only thing captured, however; in the background there is careful messaging about who can revel in “woman’s games” and who can gaze on from the background. Yareth is also concerned with gender and the way children soak up gender from their surroundings. The photograph the painting is based on was taken iin a hot summer in Texas from Yareth’s (my niece) beckoning. She adorned herself with her dad’s (in the background) accessories and posed like him, a man. Yareth’s baby portrait hangs right above her telling a different story, one where the massive flower headband on her head seems to scream “GIRL.” Subtle (and not so subtle) messaging about the gender binary is happening all of the time so these paintings are snapshots that explore and enhance those peculiarities.
Lorena Diosdado earned her B.A. in Art Practice with Honors anda minor in Education at Stanford University. Her work,through various media explores the multiple layers in which individuals from marginalized communities exist in the United States. Thrilled by others’ stories as well as her personal upbringing, she hopes to explore the complexities of marginalized individuals and communities surviving systemic oppression in the USA. Complicating conventional views of race & ethnicity, class, and gender her art focuses on untold, often sentimental, narratives, challenging art history and contributing to ongoing efforts by BIPOC artists to complicate popular understanding of their intersecting identities.