Every month, Neta highlights different artists across South Texas. Our featured artist for July was Marcelina Gonzales. Her border inspired artwork is put together in interesting layers and colors. Here is Marcelina Gonzales’ experience as a Latinx artist in the Rio Grande Valley:
“Having lived along the Mexican American border my entire life, growing up in Brownsville, Texas, I often felt the struggle of identity. Not as brown as my other family members or friends, yet not as light-skinned as some of my Caucasian classmates or the celebrities of the 90’s, as a young passive girl I made every effort to find where I belonged and who I was. Sincerely lost and internally conflicted, I voluntarily abandoned my native language of Spanish, was self-deprecating, and chose to separate myself from the cultural characteristics of my family out of fear that I would find myself aligned with the perceived stigmatization of my Hispanic identity.
Now, as a grown woman, and explicitly through my art, I aspire to undo and question what I sought out as a little girl, and instead choose to celebrate being a Hispanic American female living along the border and in the Rio Grande Valley. Through hyperbolic expressions of my own self and those that surround me, I conjure daydreams and invent narratives of fiction tangled in reality, with the unique and unparalleled landscape of The Valley serving as the backdrop. More specifically, the female form whether deliberately exaggerated, androgynous, or representative lies at the forefront of the art I choose to create. Always unapologetic and often saturated in sarcastic humor, my art seeks to challenge the social, political, economic, religious, and sexual role of a female living in today’s America, and feature those who are strong, sassy, proud, rebellious, and rejecting of the status quo.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for August’s featured artist!