Artist's Statement

I work to create moments in which something real, true, and often uncomfortable (but at its base, beautiful) breaks the bonds of expectation, habit, or social convention. My work is saturated with emotional vulnerability, but as frank as possible. Somewhere between hospitality and frugality, between invitation and challenge, I create a space where my audience can truly experience - and digest - an artwork.

Using live culinary arts, video projections, sound, animation, and photography, I offer my guests radical and overwhelming hospitality. Burritos, a humble staple of Chicano cuisine, are the offerings I cook and serve while mixing my projections; I have refined my recipe into a mouthwatering paragon of custom-made beans, fresh lime, cilantro, cotija cheese, and tangy homemade salsa verde. My animated "wiggly" portraits create unnervingly candid moments of extreme eye contact between subject and viewer, while the live food performance shakes up visitors' expectations of "service." Altogether, the viewer simultaneously encounters the comfort of delicious food and the strange beauty of these portraits, faces imbued with florid colors and odd postures, yet oddly peaceful and genuine. The dischord of these stimuli produces a new and unique chord, a kind of harmony between the conceptual and the pedestrian, the uncanny and the delicious.

Participants are subjects, collaborators, audience. I try to make the experience of a live event into a performance of gifting and barter, a play of provocation, seduction, hospitality, manners, supply and demand. I create an environment that provokes participants' responses- my desire is to create a unique bond with an audience of mostly strangers, a bond that will last long after the performance is over. Impressive hospitality can be seen as a sign of status. I see the event of hospitality as a unique nexus where human behavioral codes cross power lines, sparking explosions of genuine, unscripted experience.

My next projects will include my family's archive of 8mm home movies and my mother's mole poblano recipe, as well as a traveling Media & Burrito Truck (mobile live food-performance radical hospitality unit).

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