Part of maintaining credibility amongst Chicano peers is striking a delicate balance between identifying with our indigenous roots and acknowledging our European influences. Cindylu wrote a great blog on the occasionally laughable difficulties of doing this. Performing race and culture (or the implication that someone is doing it only to show that they down with brown) can be a sensitive subject for us.
I say this because I always give my Chicano friends a lot of shit whenever they pay deference to anything from Spain, mostly to give them a hard time in jest. My confession today is that I’m super excited to receive the new art book by Spanish artist Dadanoias (A.K.A. Kahlo, real name Marta Castro Suarez). As a present to myself for filing my taxes on my own for the first time I pre-ordered the book from Amazon.
Dadanoias’ artwork has been circulating throughout a handful of Chicano blogs recently. When I first stumbled across her work on flickr I have to admit that I thought she was Chicana. The digital collage aesthetic and color combinations screamed Chicano art to me.
The interventions in her images are exciting and alluring. In each piece she inserts herself as a part of the medium of the image and layers on original and borrowed images. Dadanoias doesn’t caption her pieces so there’s a lot of meaning left open for interpretation. Visually peeling back layers and meaning in her images does indeed make a good challenge.
Dadanoias gets extra nerd points for co-opting Urusei Yatsura illustrations for her work. I wonder what Rumiko Takahashi would think of her images?