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artist statement

"Machistas y Vanidad"

This exhibit is a culmination of the exterior, how we wish to perceive ourselves and what we desire. The beetles and insects help to connect the people who wear them with groundedness. Beetles move with their bellies always close to the earth, and so their wisdom is sacred and deep. We as people at times forget that we too are from the earth and rarely think of how are actions effects others and the world we live in.

Being a teacher my concern with machismo especially within Latino culture is how it begins to influence our young boys with ideas of what it means to be a real man. It’s macho. It’s the masculine identity of many latino men, that are left behind holding on to old traditions and beliefs. The Machistas greatest weakness is the belief that they know it all, and the fear to ask a question or admit that they are wrong, while never showing any emotions but a facade of strength and toughness. It is pride that keeps many men from living a more fulfilled life, and the fear of change. What is left is an ego driven young man that is more than willing to take what he wants because there is no alternative while ruining the lives that surround them. The best thing of being machista is the pride and duty to ones family, however making it feel like a prison to some that would like to further their education and seek another life outside of their circles.

As to how vanidad or vanity is included within my work, it is seen through ornamentation and external beauty of women. Even though vanity is considered a negative because of the emphasis on external appearances, I see it as their right of freedom. The world of art is coming together on a level that has never been seen before and women are using it to display their identity, and fearlessness. The time honored roles between men and women are starting to change; men are gradually releasing the reigns of authority and letting women be a larger part of what happens within the workings of the world. A new voice is a good change, for it is not tied down by tradition, and a women’s voice is genuine and very real.

by Noel Palmenez

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