A portrait series celebrating women of color.
One of my earliest memories of making art is a self – portrait I drew in elementary school. I drew a girl with fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. I remember watching my teacher as she looked at the self-portrait I was so proud of and back at me—a girl with brown skin, black hair and dark brown eyes—with encouragement and confusion.
The lack of diversity in my books, television shows, and movies was detrimental to my journey towards self— love. It is easier than you think to unknowingly assimilate to the western beauty standard. Growing up, I had a hard time accepting my ethnic background. I rejected my language and my culture as I straightened my hair and refused to acknowledge myself as Dominican.
My thesis serves as a celebration of color, showcasing diversity. Every piece is as an exploration of beauty and redefining stereotype. It is very much a reflection of myself as it is of each subject.
Informed by the need for representation in art, the most important part of my work is the process, teaching myself to draw different hair, facial features and body types. As I learn to appreciate the color of my skin and the rich history of my hair I hope to create work that people of any background can identify with.