Gasp! So. Much. Glitter! This is the very personal work of Chicago based artist Moises Salazar. Their artist statement is so powerful, so I’m just gonna let Moises to tell you about this work:
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“Growing up in Chicago to immigrant parents has cemented a conflict of belonging and safety within my identity. Being first generation, I was thrown into a society that constantly challenges my rights as a U.S. American and targets my community because of their immigration status. I had to survive in a social space that had little regard for the complexities of growing up ethnically Mexican in a racialized society. Safety and security were things that were never a part of my experience while living in the Unite States. With fears of my family being deported I felt alienated by a country I had to pledge myself to. Furthermore, this alienation was reinforced by my queer identity. Being a body that has experienced violence, neglect, and homophobia within and outside my community has become the catalyst of my work. For this reason, the body has become my conceptual focus.
Whether addressing queer or immigrant bodies my practice is tailored to showcase the trauma, history, and barriers these people face. Reflecting on the lack of space and agency they posses, I present my pieces in environments were they can thrive and be safe. The work I create is colorful, innocent, gentle, soft, and safe. The use of clay, paper mache, glitter and crochet are important in my work because of their cultural and personal value. The use of accessible material has always been important in my practice and in the cultural development of my communities. I use material and methods that have been passed down by generation in my family to showcase the importance of their experience and honor their endurance. My art is a vehicle to celebrate the majesty of cultural heritage contrasted with challenges of living safely in the United States as a member of the immigrant and queer communities.”