The Constructed Self (2019-2022) is a series of portraits that use collage to visually represent the intersections of identity, self-representation, race, gender, and belonging within first, second, and third-generation American immigrants. Using digital photography as a foundation, I transform traditional prints into three-dimensional objects by cutting and incorporating tactile elements such as wood, paint, and resin. The labor-intensive techniques I apply to create these sculptural objects not only allow for a physical deconstruction of my images but also become a form of meditation that reflects my efforts in trying to reconstruct and make sense of my own identity.
Like a puzzle, my identities intersect coming together to construct my multiple sense of Self. Although I do not appear in the pictures I see the works as self-reflective and it's very important for me to show the diversity within my models. As an immigrant from Latin America and a descendant of Indigenous Peoples from the South, I feel the need to celebrate diversity to reframe the representation of historically marginalized identities.
Some of the pieces that make up these dimensional portraits can be rearranged and displayed in various ways to express the notion that identity is a social construct. At once colorful, surreal, and minimal, my constructed portraits invite the viewer to challenge their own perceptions and biases, by highlighting the complexities that make up who we are.
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