Risograph, 16 pages plus covers, 4.25" x 5.5", 2021.
Smells can trigger memories from decades ago so powerfully you'd swear the experience happened only yesterday. If masks prevents us from smelling people and places, will our memories from Covid times be weaker? Stronger? Blank? Will we associate new people with the smell of our breath? Or what we ate for lunch? How will this affect our sense of trust or identity?
Let Us In, Let Us Out
Artist Book. Accordion book structure. Digital illustration, digital collage, paper cutting. 5.5" x 5" x 1.25". 2020.
This abecedarium, art book is based on the word border, which got me thinking about the boundaries between people. We put up walls emotionally, politically, physically. As human as it is to try to control and contain using boundaries, we also fight to break down barriers, to explore, to connect, to persevere. I wanted to celebrate the perseverance of Mexican culture in America while also critiquing how this country exploits it, demonizes it, and appropriates it on the daily.
I took inspiration for the font styles from Mexican sign painting, indigenous southwestern textiles, and LA tattoo culture. The imagery is full of traditional Mexican iconography, desert landscapes, and urban art, with sporadic invasions of barbed wire and fencing. The covers of red and blue represent US control of the narrative and the actual border. The ombré effect of the interior pages traveling through pinks and teals represents the journey, experience, joy, and value of Mexican American immigrants. Roughly that journey begins in Mexico (reds) travels into the southwest desert (pinks into teals) and ends in urban LA (blues.)
The backside of the book is one long continuous wall in sepia tones with beautiful humans randomly placed behind the fencing. These same people and others are shown through the font cutouts — immigrants looking for a better life or immigrants already living in the US but reduced to a palatable size. Trapped either way.