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I have always felt torn between two cultures - the suburban middle-class objectivity of my American birth, and the passionate sensitivity of my Latino heritage. I am of direct Puerto Rican decent, but was born in the Mid-West, and have never lived extensively in Puerto Rico. Although there are still a number of relatives in Puerto Rico, (the Díaz side of the family), my infrequent contacts are with the stateside kin. Most of my life has been spent in middle-class America; the suburbs are my barrio, and English is my primary language. Without an ability to communicate in Spanish as well, I have become culturally shy of my own ethnicity. Rather than the ideal acculturation that many minorities seek, I have become fully enculturated.
My interest in bright color, rhythmic patterning and expressive figurative imagery, combined with mixed media, including oil pastels, charcoal, conté, and acrylic washes on paper, provides a fresh interpretation to events and individuals that I have come into contact with. Ongoing studio developments in experimental techniques in printmaking, papermaking, and the book arts that include bilingual text, offer a new visual format that seeks to communicate to a broader audience.
I have found that the visual arts have long been a significant part of Latino culture, providing a visible means of communicating social consciousness and reawakened self-esteem. A considerable amount of my time has been spent in developing a bi-visual means of communicating to both cultures through my artwork. The works are hybrids; they combine elements of both mainstream America and exotic Hispania. Through these works, I attempt to reach out to my Latino heritage in a concerted effort to expand and enrich my mainstream identity. Through these artworks I create an acculturated balance between these two worlds.