UniteWomen.org is pleased to announce the eighth of twelve featured artists in our online art show Women’s Rights – An Artist’s Perspective. Women Must Bear Children, Cook and Clean by Cristina Velazquez.
Art making is a constant endeavor in my life. Visual and objects surround me and fill me with energy that it is turned into fine art in my studio, located in Palo Alto, CA. One of my portfolios reflects my struggles as a woman. What a woman is and what she should project are exposed in the portfolio called, Everything I Must Be. I am bothered by the stereotypes that are attributed to issues of the past.
Domesticity continues to be expected of women; whether she has a job outside the home or not. In the piece La Mujer Tiene Que Limpiar La Casa/Women Must Clean the House,I attached my old used cleaning rags to a dress, to illustrate that the house chores are expected to be done by the homemaker. In, La Mujer Tiene Que Dar a Luz a Los Hijos/Women Must Bear Children, I address the issue of having the power to decide how many children each women must have. This piece came to life to answer my personal struggles to the never ending question of the many people, relatives and strangers alike, “When are you going to have another child?” So I can look like that—it is my answer through the use of a tangible visual. Because sometimes words are just not enough to explain everything I want to say; these dresses are here to show my feelings when it comes to those archaic ideas of womanhood.
The pieces in these portfolios represent my feelings, conceptualized through media, being a woman is no small task to accomplish. I strongly believe that many other women can relate to my struggles and vision for a necessary change. I address issues that have marked me and my decisions in life. These ideas of the past continue to be pass on to new generations, which in turn make us stay in the same place, we do not grow, we do not move forward. I am bothered by the lack of progress and confidence our young women lack. This being the root of my creations—artwork that shows my discontent with my own culture and religion.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I was born in the port of Lazaro Cardenas in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. Many of my most memorable childhood memories come from the time before we moved to California in 1987. It has been this new world that has shaped me into a new person. Thanks to school and the people I have met here who have open my mind to a limitless frontier.
I remember as a little girl, how it all got started for me and how that moment was burned in my memory for the rest of my life. I was sitting in kindergarten class, next to my friends. All of a sudden the boy sitting next to me said, “I don’t like to draw!” Then the boy next to him said, “I don’t either!” Then it became my friend’s turn and sure enough she opted to follow along. I knew as it was being passed around that soon it was going to be my turn. I remember thinking, I can either follow the pattern or speak up. These were my words, I like to draw, in fact I love it, and when I grow up I’m going to be a painter. Those words have been tattoo to my heart. And every time someone asks me how I decided to become an artist this image comes back to me.
As I kept growing I realized that the arts were my home. I wanted to be part of this world or nothing. I was not going to let any body influence me to go in a different direction. I often hear young people put their dreams aside, they justify it by saying, “I have to pay the bills.” I wonder who is going to pay for their unfulfilled dreams. I know that if I had not fought for my main passion in life, I would be a very unhappy woman. The consequences of not following your passions are seen in the world around us. I did not wanted to end up in a hole filled with negativity. I feel that I have a lot to say that is why I use my artwork to express my thoughts.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITS
This online exhibition is in support of UniteWomen.org and was featured on this website and currently on our Facebook page.
In addition to the online exhibit, there was a gallery exhibit held during November 2013.
1221 Bowers Street #2225
Birmingham, Michigan 48012-2225