Woman Artist in a Male World
I have been working since 2016 with this topic, pain and love. In my master
thesis one chapter was dedicated to a very difficult time in my life, when I was
forcefully separated from my daughter.
My experience of being a foreign woman, a person of color (half Indian “Quechua” and half mestizo from Ecuador) and an artist in Switzerland is
somewhat traumatic. Maybe if I had given in to the system a little more I would
still have custody over my daughter.
If I had stayed with my daughter’s father and lived as he and his family wanted,
they might not have fought in order to take my daughter away from me.
If I had not chosen to study performance art, my ex might not have left me.
I only reflect… If I had acted in a way that men and institutions expect from a
woman, especially from a foreign woman like me: a person of color (half Indian
“Quechua” and half mestizo from Ecuador), would I still be with my daughter?
My psychologist told me, after they took my daughter away, that pretty women
and artists still have a difficult time. It felt good that she thinks I’m beautiful, she knew exactly how to make me feel better. I guess there are lot of social codes here that I don’t fully understand as a person of color, a female artist with a diverse background. I don’t adapt to social codes easily. Since my childhood I have been used to being open towards different cultures, as they exist in my closest family. It would be nice to find this openness wherever I try to live as woman and artist…
Cats and my Daughter
I came to Athens for a one-month art residency. During this time I did not seemy
daughter, I feel the nostalgia of giving love and care to my daughter but I’m not
allowed. I was walking in the streets of Athens and noticed that there were a lot of cats living on the streets.
These cats connect me with my daughter. When I was living with her, for her fifth
birthday I gave her as a present a baby cat. The cat and she grow up together and love each other. When my daughter and I got separated, we also got separated from the cat, neither me nor her have the cat. I want to give the cats the love I can’t give to my daughter and reconnect myself with her again.
Cats and the Crisis
When I see the cats I see myself and my daughter as a survival of the system
made by man. The cats live in an under ground city. Like a woman artist they have to find ways to be suspicious to survive. And most of the time in the underground. I’m also very fascinated with how our brain works when we are close to a cat. I have read some research on line that states touching the skin (or Skin) of the cats increases the dopamine production of the brain and that helps humans with depressions. Now that I’m separated from my daughter I want to be happy even if that happiness on the brain lasts just some minutes. I try to find ways to get closer to the cats and see if they trust me and let me touch them. I’m curious if the cats give women happiness in times of crisis?
Cats my nails and the male judgment of beauty
My extremely long fingernails have become a tool which I use in my artistic
practice since 2010 to make my sculptures and painted objects. My nails are my extended body. For me it is easier to paint or make details of the sculptures with my nails, because they are directly connected to my body and it is more precise. I figured out my own method of ‘tectonic’ painting with my nails. I have had very long nails for ten years already. Before studying art, I trained as an aesthetician in Switzerland, that’s also a reason why my art is influenced by ‘contemporary beauty’ which is exaggerated and reflected in my artistic practice. I like to reflect and play with the male judgment on a woman’s beauty and body codes. The cats don’t like my nails, they are very scared of my nails. When I try to touch a cat, the cat can feel my nails and gets aggressive or runs away. I guess they associate my nails to claws, claws of a human – that must to be very confusing for them? That’s what I want to figure out new ways for me to get closer to the cats and get their trust to let me touch them with my human Claws.
by its very nature is unconditional. Mother loves the newborn infant because it is her child, not because the child has fulfilled any specific condition, or lived up to any specific expectation. But while father does not represent the natural world, he represents the other pole of human existence; the world of thought, of man-made things, of law and order, of discipline, of travel and adventure. Father is the one who teaches the child, who shows him the road into the world.
I understand that in the world we live in is psychologically male and patriarchal. The education of a child is based on a patriarchal system. I realized that the psychological report that the Children Institution in Bern made, was totally male psychology since the beginning. No matter what I could say or do, I would never manage to stay with my daughter. Specially for me as a woman artist of colour.
Paintings and symbolism
The process of painting on the canvas is traditional and contemporary at the same time. I use oil colors, and like in classic paintings, I use gold. I like to play with the symbolism of art history and my indigenous background at the same time, that’s why I use the color gold, which was used in art history as the symbol of Heaven, and the golden Mask of the Incas as God. I mix the color gold with my menstrual blood.
Life is hard enough. That’s why humor and spontaneity is important in my artistic practice. That’s why I try to make the paintings light, a little allegoric and funny. It is important to share my point of view that there is nothing to be ashamed of about the female body, the fluids, periods and emotional changes due to the hormonal cycle the body undergoes.