Obsessed with the Obsession

November 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

As many of you know, I am obsessed with our collective obsession with Frida Kahlo.  And with all of the never discovered before photos, writings, and found artifacts, the internet is a playing field for all new things Frida. I try to catalog as many of these things as well as Frida inspired art, photos as Frida, Frida tattoos, and Frida products on obsessedwithfridakahlo.tumblr.com.

Valentines from El Rio

February 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Wonderful Valentines day love from the always magical El Rio. Love em’ share em’.

Are you thinking?

Kim & Kanye

Eazy-E & Tairrie B

Beast Jesus

New Futuro featured in The Atlantic’s series on economic progress

November 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

New Futuro, founded in 2008, works with community organizations and schools in urban Latino neighborhoods to provide students and their families with access to the college materials they’ll need, all of which are available in both English and Spanish translations. The company’s web platform offers America’s largest Hispanic scholarship database and hundreds of articles featuring useful advice on college planning, as well as profiles of successful minorities who’ve reached high levels in their careers. New Futuro also publishes a bilingual print magazine, which is distributed for free in high schools and through nonprofit and community partners.

read the full article in The Atlantic: New Futuro Narrows the Education Gap for Latino Students

Escobar-Morales at The Painted Bride in Papeles: Are we what we sign?

August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

PAPELES: Are we what we sign? aims to serve as a visual examination of our social bond with papers as legal signifiers of identity that shape individual mobility, cultural acceptance, gender and sexual-orientation equality, economic access, labor opportunities, and educational attainment.  Visual artists, community leaders, and arts administrators use this project to reflect upon the socio-cultural impact of documentation processes present in American society.

This exhibition gathers twelve influential—established and emerging—artists working in drawing, painting, installation, printmaking, photography, and mixed media. Participating artists include Andrea Rincon, Andria Morales, Carlos Nuñez, Doris Nogueira-Rogers, Erika Ristovski, the duo Escobar-Morales, Jonas Dos Santos, Jorge Figueroa, Lina Cedeño, Michelle Ortiz, Paula Meninato, and Susana Amundaraín.  They propose social-visual experiments from their positions as immigrants and/or descendants of immigrants from Latin American nations. New and existing works in this exhibition illuminate the concept of documentation into powerful narratives of critique, ambiguity, longing, and resilience.

 

The Painted Bride
230 Vine Street | Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.925.9914

September 7 – October 21, 2012
Gallery hours: 12pm – 6pm, Tues – Sat
First Friday receptions: September 7, October 5 | 5-7:30pm
Guest Curator Andreina Castillo | Co-Presented with Acción Colombia

Fractured Jewishness

April 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

Is being half-Jewish, like being half-pregnant? Yes.

Intrigued? Want to hear more?

I have the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Half Jewish?” The Heirs of Intermarriage conference at Northwestern University, which runs from 4/20-4/22. My Friday night talk will center around the construction and the perpetuation of fractured cultural identities. On Saturday my dear friend Yoni Sarason, aka The St. Lou Jew, aka Midwest Director of Birthright Next, will be speaking on a panel with Dan Libenson, moderated by Denise Handlarski.  Come check out the conference.  Meet some lefty Jews.  Learn and mingle.

Register here.

 

Digital. Creative. Conceptual. Think Tank Team.

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ladies and Gents, life is good.  I am the Creative Director for New Futuro.

New Futuro provides Latino families with fully bilingual resources and tools to get students into college and beyond! We are committed to making you an education rockstar!  We will  teach you how to get into the college of your dreams with money to pay for it.  It’s all about making the right classes at the right time, knowing the right people, and getting involved with the right groups.  College is your future,  so why should it be a challenge to get there?  New Futuro will help you achieve your dreams through education! 

Read more about my #awesome creative team here.

Love is never too late.

March 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know it’s almost April, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share Rio Yañez’s 2012 crop of valentines amazingness.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my friends and lovers! El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards are back in the ring to take another swing! This is the 6th year of my cards and it’s turned into my longest running project. Enjoy!

As always, please post these cards on the pages of your online friends, real life enemies, booty calls, baby daddies, friends with benefits, people you’re stalking on facebook, and people you would be stalking on Google + but don’t want to go through the hassle of signing up with a new social network. 

Drone

Like a Dream

Romney & Gingrich

Trotsky and Diego

Mi Vida Loca

Women: Sit at the table. Not on side.

February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment


Excellent TED talk with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

Sandberg’s advice to women:
Sit at the table.
Make your partner a real partner.
Don’t leave before you leave.

AMerican MEdia Output in Texas

May 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

AMericanMEdiaOutput.com
twitterFacebookLInkedIn

Escobar-Morales

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Escobar-Morales

Artist Statement and Bio
Escobar-Morales is a team comprised of Maya Escobar and Andria Morales. The two artists, based in Chicago and Philadelphia respectively, have been working together over the Internet since 2010. They produce digital media and performance art that explores the role of self-representation in visual culture and its ability to deconstruct ingrained ideological conventions. By locating their performances online where they are free from restrictions of time and place, Escobar-Morales is able to concurrently enact multiple personas while simultaneously creating a unified hybrid self.

Maya Escobar was born in Chicago, IL in 1984.  Andria Morales was born in 1982 in New York, NY.  Escobar received a BFA from the School of the Art Institue of Chicago (2007) and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2009); Morales received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (2004) and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University (2008).

THE WORLD IS WATCHING ARIZONA

February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

(via guardian.co.uk article by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez)

Arizona’s cultural genocide law

Legislators in Arizona are pursuing a white supremacist campaign to erase Mexican American presence from teaching

The onslaught in Arizona of reactionary and immoral racially-based laws has managed to attract worldwide attention. The brown peoples of this state are being relentlessly persecuted by a majority population that wants to forcefully remove us and suppress our rights and deny our humanity. Here, the state has even gone so far as to, via HB 2281, to prohibit the teaching of ethnic studies in Arizona schools.

Unquestionably, the brown peoples of this state are treated as less than human. Not everyone treats us this way – just the majority: mostly conservative Republicans, many of them with a supremacist ideology. Their general attitude is: if you’re brown (read Mexican), get the hell out of our God-given country. And for those of you who remain, either assimilate and abide by our [contrived and unconstitutional] laws or face the full wrath of the state.

There is embedded hate against brown peoples in Arizona – the kind associated with the 1800s, a time when the United States forcefully annexed half of Mexico. All of it is thinly veiled under the guise of opposition to “illegal immigration” and “border enforcement”. However, the battle here is actually civilisational: brown peoples, many of whom have been here for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, represent the unfinished business of Manifest Destiny. For conservatives, we represent a return to a past in which we are viewed as a conquered, subhuman species. This brazen attitude informs all the recent anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant bills, proposed laws that long for a return to an idyllic past, which, in fact, never existed.

Aside from HB 2281, other bills include : SB 1070 – the racial profiling lawSB 1097 – the proposed law that will require children to identify the immigration status of their parents; and HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309 – bills that seek to nullify birthright citizenship (guaranteed by the 14th amendment ) to children whose parents cannot prove their legal status.

And now, state legislators have introduced the most reactionary bill of them all: SCR 1010 (pdf). This bill seeks to exempt Arizona from international laws. With this bill, these legislators are acknowledging that all their anti-Mexican laws are also outside of international law.

click here for full text

AND read more about HB 2561/SB 1308 (via AlterNet article by Valeria Fernández)

Arizona Bill Would Create Second-Class Citizenship for US-Born Children of Undocumented Immigrants

A baby born in Arizona to two undocumented parents would have a birth certificate that indicates he is not a U.S. citizen under new legislation introduced in Arizona’s State Capitol on Thursday.

The bills (identical in House and Senate versions, HB 2561/SB 1308 and HB 2562/SB1309) will certainly be challenged in federal court and are already steering a polarizing debate in a state known across the nation as a laboratory for anti-illegal-immigrant policies.

click here for full text

GO PUBLIC

February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Viaja con Aerolíneas Públicas” ¿Estás cansado de ser perfilado, acosado y tener que mostrar tu identificación cuando vas a, bueno a… cualquier lugar? Vuela en Aerolíneas Públicas y el control de seguridad en tu aeropuerto local será el último lugar donde te pedirán tus papeles. Aerolíneas Públicas vuela sin escalas a destinos amigables como Nueva Jersey, Illinois y el suroeste de Pennsylvania. Te garantizamos que tú mantendrás tu tarjeta de identificación en tu cartera siempre. VIAJA CON AEREOLÍNEAS PÚBLICAS.

@PublicAirways

“Go Public.” Tired of being profiled, harassed and carded on your way to, well… anywhere? Fly Public Airways and the security checkpoint at your local airport will be the last place anyone asks to see your ID. Public Airways flies non-stop to friendly destinations like New Jersey, Illinois and Southeastern Pennsylvania. We guarantee you’ll keep your card in your wallet for good. GO PUBLIC.

@PublicAirways

Why did you have to pick this weekend to be a Chicano?

January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mayra Ramirez

Mayra Ramirez makes my heart pitter patter….
(here is a repost of one of her latest posts on her blog Hella Breezys)

It’s hard for me to fully express my disappointment and frustration with Arizona’s law makers… last week they passed HB 2281 witch bans “Ethnic Studies” in the states K-12 grade classrooms. I cannot emphasize how important it is to be able to learn about the history of our peoples, of our ancestors, and to be able to find pride and empowerment in that. It’s such a sad and scary time in both Arizona and the country. Here is a great article about HB 2281 that I found very interesting…

So now I want to share my favorite Save by the Bell episode where Slater finds his Chicano Power!!! I feel it’s a great example of why having Ethnic Studies in our classrooms is so crucial…

FUCK ARIZONA’S ETHNOCENTRIC LAWS… WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO LEARN OUR HISTORY, OUR CULTURE AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OUR RAZA… TIERRA, JUSTICIA, Y LIBERTAD!!!

RIGHT ON MAYRA!!!

And be sure to check out her collaboration with the always amazing Rio Yañez

Critical Mixed Race Studies on iTunesU

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University
Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University

If you missed the Nov 5-6, 2010 “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies” conference or any of the keynote talks or the welcoming address, you can now download the videos here via iTunesU.

  • November 5th Welcoming Remarks by DePaul’s Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean Charles Suchar and conference organizers Camilla Fojas, Wei Ming Dariotis, and Laura Kina.
  • November 5th Keynote Address by Andrew Jolivette “Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation”
  • November 6th Keynote Address by Mary Beltran “Everywhere and Nowhere: Mediated Mixed Race and Mixed Race Critical Studies”
  • November 6th Keynote Address by Louie Gong “Halfs and Have Nots”

And here are links to recaps of the conference on Laura Kina’s and Jonathan Reinert’s blogs.

more soon…

AM I her or is she ME: The Chronicles of The Fat Free Elotera

November 11, 2010 § 7 Comments

The Fat Free Elotera is a (developing) character on Are You My Other? The Battle Between The Self and The Other, an ongoing self-portrait dialog exchange project, produced by myself (ME) and Philadelphia-based performance and installation artist Andria Morales (AM).  Through a series of weekly exchanged blog posts,  Andria and I publicly negate, deconstruct, and reconstruct our individual histories, identities, and conceptions of self.

The Fat Free Elotera

Click on images below to experience the creation of our latest persona.
Cornfield
The Fat Free Elotera with Frida Kahlo Sunglasses
Mas Maiz


My Elotes Cart
The Fat Free Elotera Challenge


Are You My Other? Block Party
elotera xmas

Día De Los Muertos Individuales

October 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

Check out the Día De Los Muertos art project I designed for Spanglish Baby, a wonderful blog dedicated to raising bicultural and bilingual children.

I wanted to create a project that would inspire family togetherness, cross-generational dialogue, and communal interaction. A project where the process through which the work was produced, becomes an integral part of of the work itself.

So, I came up with Día De Los Muertos Individuales- functional collaged placemats, modeled after altares, that can be used inside and outside.  The image below is of the Individual I made in honor of my abuelita.

Día De Los Muertos Individual

Visit the project on Spanglish Baby and on YouTube.  And if you decide to make an Individual, PLEASE send me pics!  I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Feliz Día De Los Muertos!
xo

Maya

Ultimate Promo Model for Jewish Identity

October 14, 2010 § 2 Comments

have you been kiruv‘d lately?

Maya Escobar Ultimate Promo Model for Jewish Identity

The Most Radical Thing A Woman Can Do Is Own Her Body

October 7, 2010 § 2 Comments


A recent tumblr find, led me to the remarkable work of Stacyann Chin.

On Being Pauly D by DJ Pauly D

September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Over at Are You My Other? AM and I have been having some pretty intense conversations about what it means to become oneself. Needless to say, when I saw this video of DJ Pauly D as DJ Pauly D, I was speechless.

and…


because this is somehow oddly fascinating and YES because we are still watching

want more? here is a recent Snooki tumbl.

Creating Resistance: Using the Arts in Challenging Racial Ideologies

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am so excited to announce that on November 5th 2010, I will be presenting at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies at DePaul University in Chicago.

Creating Resistance: Using the Arts in Challenging Racial Ideologies
A Roundtable Discussion Moderated by Laura Kina with Alejandro T. Acierto, Maya Escobar, Tina Ramirez, and Jonathan Reinert
DePaul University Student Center |  11/5/2010 |  10:15 am

CONFERENCE IS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

This roundtable focuses on the use of the arts as a strategy to discuss, challenge, and confront ideologies of race and mixed-heritage identities. The panelists involved – each of whom work in different artistic fields – will present their work either via performance or through a discussion of their current work and the process that helped produce such work. The discussion will highlight how identifications of mixed heritage have integrated, collided, or been negotiated within and through their work while also placing their work within the complex relationship between art, activism, and organizing. Additionally, the panelists will address how their creative projects have been used strategically within specific contexts while also reflecting upon the reception of their work among the public. Likewise, they will address the relevance and necessity of this type of work within the “multiracial/post-racial” framework and how their work speaks to those issues to challenge racial expectations and stereotypes.

As experienced cultural producers of various mediums, the panelists will also open up a forum for discussion about their own experience with specific art forms and how those mediums have presented various challenges, limitations, and problems in addressing ideologies of race. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussions by contributing their own experiences of using the arts critically and strategically as well as responding to the panelist’s remarks and performances.


Multiple identities align in Behind The Scenes Acciones Plasticas プリクラ

CREATIVE RESISTANCE ROUNDTABLE BIOS

LAURA KINA
Laura Kina is an artist, independent curator, and scholar whose research focuses on Asian American art and critical mixed race studies. She is an Associate Professor of Art, Media and Design, Vincent de Paul Professor, and Director of Asian American Studies at DePaul University. She is a 2009-2010 DePaul University Humanities Fellow. She earned her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studied under noted painters Kerry James Marshall and Phyllis Bramson, and she earned her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Born in Riverside, California and raised in Poulsbo, WA, the artist currently lives and works in Chicago, IL with her husband, Mitch, and their daughter, Midori, and her stepdaughter, Ariel. Her work has shown internationally is represented in Miami, FL by Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts.

ALEJANDRO T. ACIERTO
Alejandro T. Acierto is an active collaborative musician, improviser, composer and sound artist whose innovative work in contemporary music and performance has led Time-Out New York to call him a “maverick of new music”. His creative output embraces an ambiguous aesthetic that integrates music, sound, performance art, and installation based on historical narratives and his own experience as a third and fourth generation Mexican Filipino American. He recently won the Sidney and Mary Kleinman Prize in Composition and was granted a composers’ residency fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His work has also been featured by Trifecta Publishing, a curated collection of multimedia works by diverse artists.

Acierto holds a Masters’ degree in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music and received his Bachelors’ degree in clarinet performance and composition with a minor in Asian American Studies from DePaul University. He has performed and presented his work in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and across the US. He is a founding member of the New York-based ai ensemble and Chicago-based chamber orchestra ensemble dal niente and is currently freelancing in New York City.

MAYA ESCOBAR
Maya Escobar a performance artist, Internet curator, and editor. She uses the web as a platform for engaging in critical community dialogues that concern processes by which identities are socially and culturally constructed. She performs multiple identities, sampling widely from online representations of existing cultural discourses. Her identifications as a Latina-Jewish artist, dyslexic blogger, activist and educator are indexed by the blogs she keeps, the visual and textual links she posts, the books, articles, and blog posts she cites, the public comments she leaves, and the groups she joins.

Escobar received her MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, United States, Germany, Venezuela and Chile.

TINA RAMIREZ
Tina Ramirez is a Filipino Colombian writer, educator and youth organizer, claiming roots as a country mouse and a city mouse (Kansas-born, Chicago-bred). She has co-developed curriculum with youth spaces such as YAWP! (Young Asians With Power!) and MCYP (Multi-Cultural Youth Project), using creative self-expression as a vehicle to explore identity politics and community-based issues. She was a core organizer with Kitchen Poems, an Asian Pacific American writing workshop, and currently serves on the board for the Leadership Center for Asian Pacific Americans. She has self-published two chapbooks and performed at various venues, including Free Street Theater, Judson Memorial Church, and Insight Arts.

Tina received a B.A. in Literary Studies and Creative Writing from Beloit College and an A.M. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration with a focus on youth development, nonprofit administration and education policy. She currently works with community schools in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

JONATHAN REINERT
Jonathan Reinert was born in Tuguegarao, Philippines. At three and half years of age, he was adopted into a German American family in 1987. Jonathan lived in Kirkwood, Missouri for 15 years before leaving to attend college in Chicago where he graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Art and Art History and a concentration in painting and drawing. Inspired by the work of Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Jonathan began experimenting with video performance art toward the end of his college career. His debut performance, “Twenty Twinkies,” was a surprising success and compelled him to pursue a career in video production and documentary filmmaking.

Jonathan has recently finished his studies as graduate student in Asian American Studies at UCLA. His master’s thesis film, Left on Lockett Lane, is an autobiographical work which examines his experiences growing up in the Midwest as an Asian adoptee and was awarded official selection in 2010 Los Angeles Visual Communications Asian Pacific Film Festival. Jonathan will spend the remainder of the year submitting Left on Lockett Lane to various film festivals across the country and is in the process of applying to film schools for the fall of 2011.

Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies

September 26, 2010 § 2 Comments

Come join me at the 1st annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies, at DePaul University in Chicago, November 5-6, 2010.

The CMRS conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines nationwide. Recognizing that the diverse disciplines that have nurtured Mixed Race Studies have reached a watershed moment, the 2010 CMRS conference is devoted to the general theme “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies.”

Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) is the transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions of race. CMRS emphasizes the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. CMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.

I will be presenting at the conference on November 5th in a roundtable discussion moderated by Laura Kina, on the use of arts in challenging racial ideologies. My next post will include more information on the roundtable and on my fellow panelists: Alejandro T. Acierto, Tina Ramirez, and Jonathan Reinert.

Explosion of Latina Bloggers

August 7, 2010 § 4 Comments

LATINAS ARE EVERYWHERE!

click image to watch video on Today Mom’s

Check out interview with Blogueras Carrie Ferguson Weir of TikiTikiBlog.com and Bilingual In The Boonies, Melanie Edwards of ModernMami.com and Ana Flores of SpanglishBaby.com at BlogHer.

And don’t miss post on Wired Latinos on Blogs by Latinas founder Monique Frausto.

Photo Booth Pt 2

July 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Maya Escobar Photo Booth Performance Art

Being a performance artist is fun. Having a mac allows you to seamlessly document your real life alongside your performance life. Can you tell which pictures are real and which ones are from performances?

Jesus Makes a Short Lived Appearance in Portugal’s Playboy

July 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

read more on Guanabee

Chicago Does Jibaritos a Cyber Banquet in East Rogers Park

March 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

This Saturday my friends and I participated in a Cyber Banquet (virtually) hosted by artists Lisa Link and Io Palmer. Here is a re-post of my post on Lisa and Io’s site serve & project, documenting the evenings proceedings.

DSCF5288
Cyber Banquet hosted in Chicago at Sandi and Stacey’s apartment.

cyber napkin 5

cyber napkin 2
Follow the Tamalero on Twitter http://twitter.com/tamaletracker.

cyber napkin 3

DSCF5280
Caldo de Pollo in the making.

DSCF5281

Chicago Does Jibaritos

A New York Bagel

The Pig Roast

I Lost Myself To Good Cooking

belated valentines day love from el rio

February 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

Sorry for the delay in this post. I have been in Chicago tied up with CAA, so much so, that the lovely Hallmark holiday of love, almost slipped through my fingers. But have no fear, I am back with full force, presenting my now frequent colllaborator Rio Yañez’s pop culture, commodified, chicano, arty valentines amazingness.

From his El Rio flickr page:

What’s up to all my friends, lovers, and drunken makeout partners! El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards are back in the ring to take another swing for 2010! This is the 4th year of my cards and it’s turned into my longest running project. Enjoy!

As always, please post these cards on the pages of your friends, enemies, sexting partners, craigslist hookups, and friends with benefits.

Issues, 2010

Stimulus, 2010

Sotomayor, 2010

Supa Freaks, 2008

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/151/388897878_c877ddd9a4_o.jpg

El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards # 2, 2007

Moz Lov, 2009

el es frida kahlo at the gallery

February 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

el es frida kahlo is currently on view in the New Media Room at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, MO.

el es frida kahlo

el es frida kahlo, 2007-present

Frida Kahlo played with the identity that she wanted to project and the identity that was placed on her by others. Kahlo used her clothing, political affiliations, sexual escapades, and personal traumas, to create a character that informed her body of work. She inscribed her identity, painting her image over and over, constructing a mythology around her persona.

In el es frida kahlo I confront the ambivalence I experience as a result of my simultaneous obsession with Frida Kahlo and weariness towards her commodification. Viewed from a tiny pinhole, dressed as Kahlo, I stand before a reproduction of one of her self portraits. With a mixture of rage, anxiety, and complete fear, I chant “el es Frida Kahlo, ella es Frida Kahlo, el es Frida Kahlo, yo soy, yo soy, yo soy Frida Kahlo,” he is Frida Kahlo, she is Frida Kahlo, I am, I am, I am Frida Kahlo. As I yell, the painting behind me begins to fall. I violently tear down my braids and smudge off my makeup while continuing to scream “I am Frida Kahlo, I am Frida Kahlo, yo soy Frida Kahlo!”

el es frida kahlo at the Bruno David Gallery (video filmed and edited by Felicia Chen)

el es frida kahlo YouTube video

FREE el es frida kahlo animated gif avaliable on MayaEscobar.com

link to translation of recent review by David Sperber in Ma’arav Israeli Arts and Culture Magazine:

Frida Kahlo at the synagogue: Maya Escobar and the young Jewish-American Creation

Latina Women Respond

February 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Recently Latina Role Model was featured on TikiTiki Blog: stories with cultura, color and sabor, in a post by Carrie Ferguson Weir called Smart Latina vs. Sexy Latina.  Carrie asked readers:

So, has your Smart Latina run up against the Sexy Latina? What do you see when you watch Maya’s video? What does it bring up for you? Why can’t we be both Smart and Sexy? Let’s talk about this, break it down, maybe shatter some stereotypes, and bust our own too.

Check out the PROFOUND difference in the nature of the comments left on this post (comments posted below) vs the ones left on YouTube.

my contribution to post on Tiki Tiki:

I perform over-the-top representations of different identities. I group together these representations (characters) as a means of challenging limited perspectives of what women are like, and in this case, what Latina women are like.

This character is supposed to be an intellectual, accomplished, socially conscious woman- who will forever be seen as the “Sexy Latina.” The low quality video blog is meant to mock scenes in movies, where the hot high school teacher walks down the hall and all the boys undress her in their minds.

But I am not taking a negative or positive stance either. I want to question the role Latinas play in perpetuating this persona, and question if that is even a bad thing? Are we limiting ourselves by continuing to have this same conversation, even though the behavior persists, are we enforcing it by bring more attention to it?

I haven’t always been so impartial. Out of all of the characters in Acciones Plásticas, The Latina Role Model is the one I identified with the most.  My original description of the way this character was perceived by others was much more reactionary and much angrier than it is now. (see below)

The Sexy Latina© from Acciones Plásticas free (stereotype) postcard, 2007

The Sexy Latina© is an educated woman who cares about important social and political issues. She wears suggestive provocative clothing to compensate for giving up her role as a homemaker. She uses her sexuality to obtain positions in the work world.


Latina Role Model from Acciones Plásticas プリクラ 2009

Over the last two years this character has really evolved. Here is the new description of The Latina Role Model, re-imagined as part of my Acciones Plásticas プリクラ collaboration with artist Rio Yañez:

The Latina Role Model is a diploma totin’ intellectual, sexy, social media goddess.

What do you think?  How does the earlier description of The Sexy Latina© differ from this new description of The Latina Role Model?  How do these two images relate to the Latina Role Model YouTube video?

  • This is an excellent post and an excellent video. It really does make you think.

    I am really not qualified to speak from a “Latina perspective” on this topic because I am Anglo. (If you read my blog, you’ll know I’m Sra. López only because I married a Salvadoran.)

    That being the case, I can’t speak from personal experience on Latina stereotypes, but I would like to contribute an opinion or two on topics that are pretty closely related.

    For example, it really bothers me that the Latinas picked as reporters and journalists on Univision and Telemundo seem to be more for the purposes of eye candy than to report the news and add intelligent commentary — not that they aren’t intelligent women, but I think the sexism by the head honchos over there is pretty evident, not just on the news, but on other programming as well… And English language channels aren’t always much better. I think Western women in general – no matter what their race, fight very hard to overcome the sense that we are valued more as objects of sex/beauty, than for what’s inside.

    It’s very frustrating and I don’t envy the difficult job many women have of raising daughters in this world. (I have 2 sons) … With my own self esteem issues, I can’t imagine what a challenge it would be to raise a girl who is confident in herself and who doesn’t let Hollywood, fashion magazines, men, or even other females, get her down.

    I don’t know the solution to achieving true equality, but I think talking about it all is a good start.

  • Very interesting…The role model I immediately identified with was the socially-conscious, smart role model, which made me realize how loaded that role is. Being an accomplished and educated Latina comes with so many expectations — the whole giving back to the community, serving your community, being a role model and mentor for others, etc. — that’s not something that an accomplished non-Latina woman has to worry about (or feel committed to).

    With regards to the sexy role model — I always say that there is no sexier woman than the one that exudes confidence in herself and who she is — the sexy clothes are just extras…

    Great conversation…

  • [...] Tiki Tiki: Stories with Cultura, Color and Sabor, thanks to post by Carrie Ferguson Weir entitled  Smart Latina vs Sexy Latina. Check out the post and be sure to leave your [...]

  • Ana Lilian says:

    I guess I just never even thought of myself as the Sexy Latina…but a cute one yes! LOL! But once I´m on the dance floor, then the sexy comes out and it´s all good.

    But,seriously, I guess I just lack the perceived-Latina sassy-ness as I´ve never felt that bias towards me.
    I will definitely agree with dear Sra. López that the media, especially the Hispanic media, is completely promoting the hot Latina stereotype, and not much of the smart Latina one. Why do their “news” anchors feel they need to have their breast augmented to be taken seriously?

  • Kikita says:

    I think it is inherent in our culture to be “hot” in every sense of the word because we are so passionate.

    I love what Maya was trying to accomplish and say with her video, but I found that she couldn’t hide or deny her Latin sensuality even when she was trying to play the part of an “intellectual, accomplished, socially conscious woman.”

    This DID make me stop and think, but what I realized is that I tend to shoot for a 3rd type. I go for “Classy Latina.” You know, the one that can wear the big hoops and sexy top with a pant suit. Someone like Ingrid Hoffman or Karla Martinez.

  • C. Morales says:

    My impression is that Latina women play into the stereotype because Latino men often expect them to, and they are threatened by a smart woman. It is not just non-Latino men who expect a mujer caliente and nothing more.

  • Liz says:

    How you project yourself, depends on you, no matter what. I, like Ana, never felt that I was looked at differently because I am Latina. I don’t see my self as a Sexy, Hot, Latina(I hope my husband does, though). Hell, I’m 33, been married for 12 years, and have 3 kids. I don’t get “chifles” anymore… ): LOL!

    This is directed towards the younger, single generation. How they present themselves as the future “Latina Generation”, depends on how they are raised. It’s up to us, as moms, to teach our daughters to go and be the BEST they can be. It’s up to me to raise my daughter to know what it right from wrong. Do guys really still think that girls are still destined to be “home/baby makers? Really??

    Forget Hollywood. Forget the Media. Heck, forget the evening news. If those ladies felt that they need to have their lady lumps hanging out in order to get the job, then I feel sorry for them. But, it is what it is.

    I will raise my daughter to know that education is the key to being classy and sexy! Not exposed Humps and Lady Lumps! Also, I will raise my boys to see women and they see themselves. Whether they marry a Latina or not.

    Ay, me pase de mas! he he!

  • SUZ says:

    A smart and fun video commentary on the stereotypes of women in general…the educated intellectual, the hot babe, the innocent women. I like that Maya uses humor to deflect the extremes. Also that she creates a fine line between integrating the different role types. This is interesting because everyone is never just one thing…but we may choose to identify one way.

  • I think it’s part of a male dominated culture. Many women have this problem of having to manage male expectations in their professional lives, whether it is living with objectification or men projecting their need for nurturing from any woman they meet. I’ve had jobs where men thought it was okay to flirt with me and expected me to fulfill some messed up hot secretary fantasy, and I’ve had jobs where men I worked with expected me to be maternal and when I was driven, I was labeled aggressive. I’m not a dog, I’m not a hooker, and I’m definitely not your mother, guys.

    I think we have to teach men when they’re children that women can fill many roles and to expect them to be as capable and androgynous as any man performing the same duties. By the same token, I don’t know how I feel about using gender or sexuality as an asset to get ahead, my feeling is that anything you do that is manipulative in nature, is skirting unethical, if not flat out crossing the line.

    Having a sense of humor about stereotypes though, I don’t know if I see a problem as long as you don’t go too far and reinforce them. If it’s clear it’s a joke and part of the joke is how ridiculous stereotypical behavior really is…

  • Carrie says:

    I love the feedback, ladies. All great points and fabulous reflection.

    I am left wondering this, after reading Ana and Liz’s comments: Is stereotype/perception felt/seen at a greater level when we don’t live in predominately Latino communities?

    This comes to mind because your comments made me realize I never thought too much of my Latina side and my American side until I lived in cities where there weren’t a bunch of Cubans running around me everywhere. My otherness was apparent and pointed out. It was almost like, wow, I am different?

    Interesting!

  • Marta says:

    I don’t fit into the Sexy or Brainy Latina mold at all. Probably because I look very Anglo – light skin, blue eyes. I blend pretty seamlessly into my So Cal suburban life.

    Except for the Latina “chispa.” That’s always the big giveaway right there. =D

  • Liz says:

    Carrie,

    I emailed your post to my niece, whose studying at Penn State, this is what she had to say:

    Well, I agree with her lol. A lot of people especially here in Pennsylvania, see me as exotic because I’m Hispanic. They expect me to speak Spanish all of the time and a lot of them expect me to be kinda stupid and slutty. But when people get to know me, they find out that I’m extremely smart. Smarter than most people they encounter. And it sucks because I’m always having to prove myself to people and to teachers. But in the end, I’m the one that’s dropping jaws for my intellect and not for my attractiveness =)

    The end haha. Hope that helps.

    I am one PROUD Tia!!! (:

  • Carrie says:

    Liz, aha! Thank you for sending the post to your niece and validating my theory. I love how your niece wrote to you and the “stupid and slutty” line made me bust out laughing — especially because she obviously is not.

    Gracias, proud Tia!

    (Maybe she needs to write for the Tiki Tiki? hmmmm?)

  • Veronica says:

    Great video and excellent points.

    I think that this expectation for Latinas to appear sexy is one reason why I reject the hot mom movement. I wish there was just as much social pressure to be smart Latinas, smart moms, smart women as there is to be hot, sexy, etc.

Latina Role Model on Tiki Tiki

January 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Latina Role Model is on Tiki Tiki: Stories with Cultura, Color and Sabor, thanks to post by Carrie Ferguson Weir entitled  Smart Latina vs Sexy Latina. Check out the post and be sure to leave your responses!

Latina Role Model on Tiki Tiki

free el es frida kahlo animated gif

January 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

el es frida kahlo will be on view at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, MO from 1/22-3/6. In conjunction with the exhibition, I am offering a FREE embeddable animated el es frida kahlo gif on mayaescobar.com.

el es frida digital giveaway

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