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Celebrating My Identity: A Mexican-American Artist's Journey

Updated: Apr 14

Welcome back to my blog! In this post, I'll be sharing my personal perspective as a Mexican-American artist in the contemporary art world. Here I explain the themes that inspire my work, reflect on the impact of my Mexican heritage, and shoutout the artists who continue to shape my creative vision.

What do you feel is your place as a Mexican-American artist in the Contemporary art world?

As a Mexican-American artist, I feel that my presence in the contemporary art world holds a strong significance in art history and complexity as women. I am definitely blessed to be in this unique position. My art and I work together as a bridge between Mexican and American cultures (pun intended). I am able to draw from my upbringing and heritage to create art that speaks to me and universal themes of love and family while reminiscing on nostalgia.

Through my artwork, I aim to explore and honor my cultural roots, offering a perspective that resonates with fellow Latinos and beyond. By sharing my authentic stories and experiences, I hope to inspire others to embrace and cherish their own identities and cultural backgrounds. More specifically aspiring artist from my community in South Texas. We each have a unique story to tell, different aesthetic styles, and preferences of mediums to work with. To inspire and be inspired is a role I feel we should all partake in.

My mission extends beyond personal expression. I strive to contribute to the richness of Tejano and Mexican-American culture. Ultimately, I aspire to enrich the artistic dialogue, pushing creative boundaries and shaping narratives that reflect the diversity of human experiences. I take pride in representing the Mexican-American community. In all my journeys around the world I love contributing to a more inclusive and dynamic artistic landscape.

What does your work aim to say? What are the major themes you pursue in your artwork?

My work aims to convey a sense of cultural pride, celebrate the richness of Mexican-American heritage, and explore the complexities of identity and belonging. Through my art, I seek to tell stories that resonate with audiences on a personal level, evoking emotions and sparking reflection. I feel immense joy when I'm able to share a piece of me/us through my art in places I've visited that aren't so familiar with the Mexican-American culture.

The major themes I pursue in my artwork revolve around cultural identity, family, nature, nostalgia, and the beauty of everyday life. I often draw inspiration from my upbringing, incorporating elements of Mexican culture, traditions, local plant life, and folklore into my pieces. Themes of love and resilience are also prominent in my work, reflecting the values instilled in me by my heritage through my grandmother.

Ultimately, I strive to create art that speaks to the shared human experience while honoring the unique cultural background that shapes who I am. My goal is to foster a sense of connection and understanding among viewers, inviting them to explore their own identities and cultural roots through the lens of my artwork.

How has your Mexican heritage shaped you as an artist?

My heritage has profoundly shaped me as an artist, influencing both my creative vision and my personal morals. Growing up in a Mexican-American household, I was surround by traditions, customs, sayings, music, amazing food, attitudes and family stories of hardship. These cultural influences instilled in me a deep sense of pride and connection to my heritage, which permeates every aspect of my artwork.

From a young age, I was captivated by the vibrant colors, and symbolic imagery found in Mexican art, folklore, hand painted tiles, intricate patterns, and the iconography of the Catholic Church. These visual elements have become integral to my artistic expression, serving as a source of inspiration and a means of connecting with my roots. Whether I'm painting portraits of my family members, symbols from Mexican folklore, or exploring themes of immigration, my Mexican heritage continues to serve as an endless source of inspiration and motivation.

Moreover, my heritage has shaped my perspective on the world, instilling in me values of resilience, community, and the importance of family. I try my best to translate these values reflected in my artwork, which often celebrates the beauty of everyday life, the strength of familial bonds, and the resilience of the human spirit. Now in days I focus more so on themes of celebration and love. I feel that there’s enough negativity perpetrated in the world, there is no part of me that wants to add to that. When I step into creation mode I now only ever want to channel positive energy into my work and outward into the community and beyond. 

Overall, my Mexican heritage has not only influenced the subject matter and visual style of my art but has also shaped my worldview and artistic philosophy. Having lived in Bali and Dubai and onward, it has given me a unique perspective and a deep appreciation for the cultural richness and diversity of the world around me. Witnessing first hand how strongly the Balinese and Arab cultures carry the love for their culture and live it everyday has really left a profound unforgettable mark on my soul. It's this same love and energy for my heritage which I strive to convey and share with the world through my work.

Who are the artists that inspire you?

  • Gladys Roldan de Moras (San Antonio, TX)

  • Takashi Murakami (Japan)

  • Jason Limon (San Antonio, TX)

  • Tazroc (Los Angeles, CA)

Hope you've enjoyed this post! Until next time, let's continue to celebrate the beauty of cultural diversity and the power of art to connect us all. - Liliane Avalos

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