Paola Mateo

Titled Labels 2017 Kanekalon hair, Plastic, Glass, Bamboo fiber 24inx6inx31in

Am I White Enough Now? 2017-2018 Human hair, Acrylic hair, Kanekalon hair and Acrylic paint 14inx18inx77in

Untitled 2017 Copper, Real hair, Nylon, Feather 8inx9inx15in

Para ti pt.2 2016-2018 Real hair, Cotton, Nylon 19inx15inx33in (size XLarge)

I Am this Mix 2017 Kanekalon hair, Wood, Brass, Spandex/cotton 5ftx5inx7f

Are you Happy? 2017 Kanekalon hair, Acrylic paint, Corner wall 5ftx5ftx8ft

Artist Statement

I pull, detangle, twist, fluff, set and sew different textures and colors of hair, combing them into one piece as I pierce them with nails, penetrating each strand with the expectations of society. I hang them on walls, force them into corners, wear them and make them stand alone. This series of work displays the different methods in which I use both artificial and real hair to address the structural and systemic racism that originate within a colonial society and make its way into the home and minds of Afro-Latinx. The work speaks to a range of emotions in experiencing auto-phobia (hatred of oneself), racism within the Latinx community, confusion of origin and the stereotypical stigmas that follow the choice of not conforming to eurocentric standards.