Autobiographical Memory Project

For the class: MEMORY 2644 PUFY 1000

As a response to Robert Rauschenberg’s work and exploration in the human memory, I created a piece that pretends to delve into my memory and experience from when I was 6 to 10 years old (from 2004 to 2008). This mixed media piece is made with acrylic paint on a canvas as well as with objects of everyday life such as CDs, cigarettes, lightbulbs, fabrics, a mixing painting palette, some wire, a popsicle, and cardboard. The objects and textured used pretend to invite the audience to sense and explore some physical memories I have of that time.
There is a grid that separates the canvas in three main parts (top, center, bottom) by the help of the colors used. The head of the painting is beige, white, and red. The beige and the white represent those times of harmony in my childhood, and the red symbolizes “El Chavismo,” the government of my home country (Venezuela) at the time. At the center of the canvas, there is an abstract representation of “Petare,” a dangerous and impoverished neighborhood in Caracas that reminded me growing up of my privilege. The lower part of the painting is mostly green with touches of yellow and bronze. That part represents the foliage of the valley where I grew up.
At the center of the painting, there are photo transfers of photographs of my childhood, as well as from global events that were happening at the moment. Some of the events represented were a protest when Venezuelan government closed a TV channel from the opposition called RCTV, the flood in the outside of Caracas (La Guaira), and of an earthquake measuring 8.0 strikes in the central coastal area of Peru in 2007.

First, I wrote an autobiographical essay on my life during the period. With the writing in mind, I researched about local, and global events that happened at the time. I also reflected on which personal memories were more critical for me, and made a list of these. Afterwards, I sketched three possible ways of transmitting my message. After having decided which was the one I wanted to work on, I bought the materials I needed. Consequently, I began painting the canvas with acrylic paint, then I photo transferred the photographs, and finally, I glued the objects.

I am an international student from Venezuela that desires to communicate with the world around me visually. I hope that I can become a part of the global conversation where I can tell stories that are untold. With a background in business and languages, I have experienced how different fields will always connect at some points, and I aspire to reinforce that connection in my work. I believe that there is not one pure aesthetic, and therefore I have chosen to collaborate and learn from those around me to every day grow as an artist.

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