How did you get into making art?
As a kid I filled the back of school notebooks with drawings inspired by late 1980’s cartoons like Transformers and Jem and the Holograms. Besides art classes in high school I took continuing ed figure drawing classes as well as sculpture. The RISD pre-college program during my junior year of high school really inspired me to go to art school. I got a taste of what art school and the curriculum would be like, I was hooked!
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a series based on the theme of chosen family. I’m painting Dominican LGBTQ+ youth and allies living in Santo Domingo today. They’re artists, poets, and activists fighting for women and gay rights.
What inspired you to get started on this body of work?
As I was working on my series Early Life in Neon which revisits my childhood growing up in DR, I realized I was not informed at all about current LGBTQ+ life there. I started reaching out to a few people on instagram and this led to a visit this past January where I got to meet with different groups of friends and learn more about them and what life is like for the LGBTQ+ community on the island today.
Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?
I like working on distinct projects that are somehow linked through color or theme. I love starting new projects and like the idea that it’s all in stages that improve as I move on.
What’s a typical day like in your studio?
No day is alike. Sometimes I get to painting as soon as I enter the studio and other days I dedicate some time in the morning or afternoon to emails. I do try to paint everyday, even if it’s just for an hour or two. While in the studio I’m either listening to instrumental atmospheric music, a podcast, or an audiobook (often autobiographies read by the author).
Who are your favorite artists?
There are many but here’s a few: Henri Rousseau, David Hockney, Milton Avery, Matisse, Salman Toor, and Raelis Vazques among others.
Where do you go to discover new artists?
Before covid I would go to a public library and just roam the painting sections to see what I would run into. Now mainly instagram, but I often get introduced to amazing work in galleries around the Lower East Side and Tribeca.