Grab This Blog's Widget! < Amarettogirl
visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

Creative Commons License
This work by marisol diaz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Add to Technorati Favorites
pingg Invites & eCards
amarettogirl. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr
pingg Invites & eCards
Grab This Blog's Widget! < Amarettogirl
CRAFT: I'm a Crafter!
The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto
« Relaxing with Collage! | Main | Happy Mother's Day! »

The Herstory Exhibit


So here it is less than 48 hours before I have to hang and exhibit my show...and I am in a complete state of angst and anxiety. My stomach is twisted into knots and I am overwhelmed with mental noise. The only problem is the chief censors in my head that inflate my LACK of self-esteem and berate me with an onslaught of criticisms that only I could come up with.
Creatives write about this all the time, it's often the stuff writer's/artist block is made up of. What is that about? How and why do we do that to ourselves?

This show would be easier than any other, and I would not be going through any emotional upheaval, if not for the fact that I am doing representational art based off of the photographic images of the Herstory project and co-workers, students, employers are expecting to see a 'likeness' captured in the art work. Like in the images above. Now just because I did that once - doesn't mean I can do it again (and there are twenty photos I had to contend with) for the show. Grant it I only made it to six but with no where near the same resolution as the image above.

Believe me when I turn on the news and hear about tornados, earthquakes and other catastrophes the drama in my little spot of the world is trivial to say the least...but why can't I invoke Eckhart Tolle - be in the present moment and turn off the ego-driven, self-flagellation machine??????

I'm tired and I have to give up and let the work be what it is. The above photograph is an old image of a painting for the exhibit. It is of one of my students named Jazmin Hudson and in this image she is posing as Vengeance from the Paul Pierre Prudhon painting/study Vengeance Pursuing Crime.


What is the Herstory project about?

Well I came up with the idea to bite off more than I should chew and tried to tackle fostering self-esteem issues in young women of color in high-school situations. I asked 'what must it feel like to be a young woman of color sitting in a Western Art history class and see image after image of White European Women?'You can check out this youtube video to get a sense of what it feels like.

That wasn't a difficult question to answer seeing as I am a woman of color who has sat in those classrooms and always felt a level of disenchantment and lack of identification.

I was inspired by artist Kehinde Wiley (whose site I urge people to go to) and the generosity of Oprah Winfrey leadership school for young girls. I thought well what do my gifts/capabilities let me do? How can I make a difference?

The idea/project began as a labor intensive after school photography shoot in which self-identified young women of color posed in the compositions of iconic images from western art history. Images that I felt portrayed, wisdom, beauty, power, influence and strength. You can see the resulting photos under portfolio's Herstory.

The first part of the project is a body of photographic work, the second is a video about the project,in which the young women are interviewed about self-esteem, role- models, the media and participating in the project. This part ended up being very difficult and too-long, as I struggled with not wanting to cut-out any young woman's voice. I showed this Herstory' movie and a summary of the photography project at a National Educator's Conference (National Assoc. of Indep. Schools People of Color Conference) in Boston this past November. I got great feedback, but agreement that the hour-long video should be cut shorter. People asked if I got paid - but I did this all as extra-curricular activities for free and the young women loved it. I did however receive a professional development grant to create the edited video.

The third part is the body of visual art I created from those images to allow the young women to see themselves larger than life in an artwork. Here we are a year later and I am doing the first exhibit of the art work on Thursday. What was I thinking? The above painting is one of the strongest images in the batch and capturing a likeness in painting has proved to be my albatross...so the other paintings are less than what I would like them to be. But time is up - and they are going to go in as they are.

Reader Comments (4)

Just reading about your project is an inspiration, and I am positive that you are going to be more than happy after this first show opens. You are making something that you believe in with what you know how to do best. You are an example to follow. I wish I was there to go to the show! Do not doubt yourself.

May 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeatriz

i cannot even imagine being as filled with all the types of creativity i see you exhibit here.. you are an amazing artist and you continue to blow me away.....

May 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpaisley

the shows going to be amazing. don't be afraid of critique, everything is going to be okay, i promise. we missed you in class yesterday.
good luck!

May 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterisabellla g.

your show is going to rock! don't worry! you were missed by us also yesterday.

May 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>