Precipitated by the passing of my abuelita Isabela Ortiza, the following pieces explore themes of death, memory, and new beginnings. In recreating her wedding portrait, I sought to memorialize my grandmother and reflect on the natural progression of life. I employed a similar method of coping to analyze and explore my family’s spiritual beliefs by creating a ceramic interpretation of the Fall of Man.
I was 15 when I first visited my homeland for the first time. My mother’s stories and media like “Coco” had familiarized me with aspects of my Mexican culture, but this didn’t compare to seeing it in person. One of the things that stood out to me the most from my two-month excursion was the Hacienda-style homes in Guanajuato. The neon and pastel tones were beautiful expressions of individuality, life, and joy. Now my mother’s insistence on hand painting our living room in the bright pastel blue shades and the light-colored yellow tones of my childhood bedroom (however tacky they might have seemed at the time) made sense.
Referencing my family's roots, this still life depicts aspects of the typical Argentinian meals I grew up savoring. It features empanadas, a prepared mate (caffeinated, South American tea), its thermo (flask), a medium-rare steak from an asado (barbecue) topped with chimichurri sauce, a potted ceibo plant (Argentina's national flower), and alfajores (dulce de leche cookies) served on a wooden dining room table.