Contemporary Casta Portraiture: Nuestra "Calidad" explores cultural and biological forms of hybridity.
By examining this view as a signifier of colonialism, the artwork aims to juxtapose the aesthetic and cultural markers formulated by 18th c Mexican Casta Painting with contemporary family portraits. The idea is to comprehend colonialism as the substructure of our contemporary social footprint. In using present-day tools (DNA testing and digital media) as part of the construction of the family portraits, the photographic studies will ascertain the family’s genetic migration and social affiliations in the same way that the semiotics of the Casta Painting reveals the colonial social structure.
My interest is to reinterpret the Casta Painting aesthetic through the veil of contemporary cultural. This sort of focus is a continuation of a live-long effort as an artist to understand the divide between class structures and how that impacts the social, economic and aesthetic choices of our communities.
By representing families who are the occupants of a “post”-colonial era, the work will explore current social structures' sistema de castas or caste system as a membrane that persists.
Given the current state of technology, a portrait should be more than a topographical likeness, it should point to the historical, social and economic status of the subject.