The San Jose Earthquakes and Adobe asked me to create a mural with the theme of “What does Pride mean to you?” I created the design to represent a flower arch to show how our queer ancestors fought for love equality. The signs represent how far we have come, but also the fight that we must continue of protecting trans youth and adults. The soccer balls represent different LGBTQIA+ flags and the flowers are the colors of the progressive flag. My partner and I are in the middle to show our respects to our queer ancestors and to celebrate our love out load. My partner is sporting the San Jose Earthquakes’ jersey to pin our location to my hometown of San Jose, CA.
A special thanks to the San Jose Earthquakes and Adobe for selecting me for this beautiful project and for giving me full artistic freedom throughout the creation of the mural. Another special thanks to Decca Design and San Jose Stage for taking care of me during the process of the mural.
I was one of two artists selected to represent the LGBTQIA+ community in the South Bay for Qmunity District, the newest LGBTQIA+ district in downtown San Jose. I designed and painted this section of the wall that depicts actual LGBTQIA+ residents living in the area.
A special thanks to Project More, the Qmunity District Mural Committee and the City of San Jose.
Watch the mural unveiling and read more about the project below:
A year ago this show looked completely different in my head and then the pandemic hit. Life can change in an instant and the show I had been planning for 2 years fell short. I thought about giving up and canceling everyday, but I kept thinking about how important this was for me. I decided to completely change direction and picked up my sketchbook to start anew. I found myself in a state of sadness and mourning from the loss of loved ones due to COVID related issues. I realized that I needed a space to feel sad in order to heal and I wanted to create this space for myself and everyone else. My show is named “Melancholy” from all the feelings that have come from the pandemic. I hope this space allows you to feel sad and pensive, so you start your healing process like it has started mine.
This triptych is called What does being American mean? The first image is called “I am Black, I am me.” The second image is called “I am Mexican, I am me.” The third image is called “I am Chinese, I am me.” My work is about being culturally different, belonging neither here nor there. It’s an exploration of having unusual backgrounds and cultures living in America. It’s a statement about what it’s like to be different from everyone around you. I wish to question the social structures of categories and why we are forced to fall into racial categories. To shed a light on stereotypes and show the inaccuracies in them. I want to show that in the end we are all just humans.
This social construct overwhelms my tortured soul, 2016, Silver Gelatin Print
This social construct overwhelms my tortured soul. We live in a stigma, a stigma of innocence. For shame, for grace. Seductively innocent. The age of innocence is nothing but a game. We pride ourselves for living in a free world, when we, ourselves, our molding our youth with fear. We manipulate with fear, crafting robotic minds to continue the cycle of what we believe is humankind. We manifest fear to domesticate human beings into being our ideal models of life. Society works wonders into our minds, fabricating its own belief system into us, poisoning our minds with its own ideals, until we start to believe that its ethics are our own. Are your thoughts even yours? How did you come to believe in the morals you have now? Was it your thoughts or has society engraved its claws into your brain already? How do we teach our youth to be free from this curse, when we have been poisoned ourselves? Insecurity and self-doubt has slithered into our souls, until we are nothing but mindless rats running in a never escaping rat maze.