Ten Artworks by Latinas to Collect From NYC’s ‘Artchella’

ARTBy 2023-06-07T18:14:16-04:00May 31st, 2023|
  • Larissa De Jesus Negrón Childlike Joy, 2022. On view at the 2023 Future Fair in NYC. Images courtesy of the artist and Lorin Gallery LA.

This May, the New York City art crowd gathered for Art Week, a series of art fairs spread across several galleries around the city’s west side. In its second year, Future Fair, a growing platform for emerging artists, kicked off the art week marathon, or what we’re coining as New York’s Artchella.

Art lovers and collectors alike also enjoyed NADA NY, a perennial favorite dedicated to creating a sustainable ecosystem for independent art dealerships and representation. Volta Art Fair, which was deeply missed during their post-pandemic break, presented a robust number of galleries in the global scope. Frieze, which ran from May 17th – 21st, blended the presence of established artists represented by blue-chip galleries with promising mid-career artists. Finally, Focus Art Fair, the latest addition to New York Art Week, platformed art+tech dialogues and projects, uplifting the work of emerging research-based artists.

LATINA scoured the numerous galleries to curate a list of work by trailblazing female and Latin American artists, all currently available for collection. This list showcases pieces that confront the art historical canon and expand current conversations on belonging, contemporary migration, decolonial epistemologies, queer fiction, and gender politics. The works also illustrate the diverse spectrum of Latinx artists’ cultural backgrounds and preoccupations for the future.

The inventive approaches to materiality in these ten pieces explore new ways to perceive sculpture, textile-base installations, assemblage, and mixed-media paintings.

Despite the strikingly low percentage of women of color showcased in major museums, this list of ten include artists who have seized the opportunity to queer institutional narratives with the vastness of their imagination.

1.The West by Yvette Mayorga

Yvette Mayorga, The West from the “Vase of the Century” Series, 2023
Collage and acrylic piping on panel
26 × 27 inches
Images courtesy of the artist and David B. Smith Gallery.

Yvette Mayorga with David B. Smith Gallery (Denver) at NADA

The West by Mexican-American multidisciplinary artist Yvette Mayorga encapsulates an evident shift in the artist’s aesthetics. For her solo with David B. Smith Gallery at NADA, the artist disrupted the normative of the white walls with the iconic “Mayorga Pink,” a hue often referred to by the artist as her weapon for mass destruction. The West articulates an intentionally darker veil, using black instead of pink while continuing her acrylic-piping mark-making and theatrically framed design elements from the Mexican-French colonial period. Motifs such as the French checkerboard tiles, and Rococo-inspired rooms could easily transport the audience to the terrace of the Chapultepec palace, hidden in the heart of the Chapultepec forest in Mexico City.

2. Soft Body 3 by Juliana Cerqueira Leite

Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Soft Body 3 , 2022
Glass fiber, aluminum, glass fiber, steel, paper, wood and pigment
77 × 22 × 12 inches
Images courtesy of Luis Corzo and Proxyco Gallery.

Juliana Cerqueira Leite with Proxyco Gallery (NY) at NADA

Soft Body 3 by Brazilian sculptor Juliana Cerqueira Leite attracted us with her light blue-to-peach lacquered gradient, over a layered paper totem. The research-based artist, presented a continuation of her 2016 “Corpos”, which investigate introspective forms of decomposition, and heals the grotesque joints of the paper with gentle interventions of mixed plaster. In 2020, Cerqueira published Resilent Objects, an overview of the care methodologies applied during the recovery period of the National Museum of Brazil after the devastating fire in 2018. The incident is widely known in the museum and conservation sector after destroying more than 20 million pieces that inhabited the collection, now left in the collective memory of researchers and audiences of the institution.

3. Criatura Revelada by Estefania Puerta

Estefania Puerta, Criatura Revelada, 2022
Aluminum leaf, silk, photograph (by Abbey Meaker),glass, resin on panel
14 × 18 inches
Images: courtesy of Proyecto N.A.S.A.L.

Estefania Puerta with N.A.S.A.L (Guayaquil and CDMX) at NADA

Criatura Revelada by multidisciplinary artist Estefania Puerta opens a portal to a meta-world of queer domestic aesthetics and altar nostalgia. Puerta carefully crafts a conversation between collage, embossing, and metallurgy while representing a neo-femme persona through pragmatic aluminum leaf embossed motifs, two eyes of protective amatista crystals and a soft lilac textile-based string detail that descends like a flowing potion. The artist, originally from Manizales, Colombia, works with materials “to form new poetics of transformation” while researching psychoanalysis, immigration and worldmaking.

4. Krippy Kush- Farruko, Bad Bunny, Rvssian by Maria “Lulú” Varona

Maria “Lulu” Varona, Krippy Kush – Farruko, Bad Bunny, Rvssian, 2023
Cotton thread embroidered on Aida cloth
19 × 29 inches
Image courtesy of Embajada, San Juan.

Maria Lulu Varona with Embajada (PR) at NADA

Krippy Kush – Farruko, Bad Bunny, Rvssian by artist Maria Lulú Varona is one of our favorites of the art fair. Varona learned her embroidery techniques from her grandmother growing up, applying it to make works addressing contemporary conditions. Varona integrated the lyrics of the Puerto Rican pop star Bad Bunny into a widely recognized cross-stitching embroidery style, one which can transport so many of us to our grandmothers’ houses. Each side of the textile gives a semi-illusion of karaoke which encourages the viewer to read it out loud. Humor, video-game and midi graphic nostalgia are very present in her work.

5.Childlike Joy by Larissa De Jesús Negrón

Larissa De Jesus Negrón, Childlike Joy, 2022
Acrylic, Resin, Oil, and Soft Pastels on Canvas
Images courtesy of the artist and Lorin Gallery LA.

Larissa De Jesús Negrón with Lorin Gallery (LA) at Future Fair

Childlike Joy by Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist Larissa De Jesus Negrón brings us so many memories of playful interactions during our daily routines, the rituals of the self. Negrón centers the female body without aesthetic alterations, challenging the delusional standards of beauty promoted by the cis-led media companies and pop culture. The artist, originally from La Isla Del Encanto, channels storytelling to process her childhood and adult trauma, an ongoing theme in her work. Elements of Neo-surrealism and air-brushed based scenarios often serve as the conduit to narrate an ongoing personal research on psychoanalysis. Her investigation of post-acrylic materials like epoxy are integrated later on with traditional techniques, such as oil painting.

6. Tlalocan Expanded Field – Surrounding by Claudia Peña Salinas

Claudia Peña Salinas, Tlalocan Expanded Field-Surrounding, 2020
Toner transfer and encaustic on wood panel
20 × 16 × 1 inches
Photo: Luis Corzo. Images courtesy of the artist and Galería Curro, Guadalajara.

Claudia Peña Salinas with CURRO (Guadalajara) at NADA

Tlalocan Expanded Field-Surrounding by Mexican-American artist Claudia Peña Salinas presents an archive-based cosmology of abstract sculptures. Here, the artist juxtaposes pieces from pre-Columbian civilizations such as the Mayans and/or Aztecs alongside widely recognized abstract pieces from the Western canon. The artifacts are framed on a vertical structure, and utilize the colors commonly used by American minimalist sculpture based-artists. Peña Salinas showed Tlalocan Expanded Field – Surrounding as part of a larger group of photo collages, demonstrating a contemporary take on showcasing evidence for decolonial mapping.

7. Seat 22B by C. J. Chueca

C. J. Chueca, Window B4, 2020
18 ½ x 14 ¾ x 2 in
Image courtesy of the artist and Johansson Projects.

C. J. Chueca with Johansson Projects (Oakland) at Future Fair

Window B4 by C.J. Chueca identified a common perspective among stories of migration, the view of the window seat. A design component framing the ephemeral moving image that keeps evolving from relief to nostalgia. The window seat has been the apple of discord for so many travelers and conversation starter for strangers in need of empathy and words of reassurance. Despite the multi-layered background of the artist, Chueca explored through ceramics, the universe of pockets which migration permeates, concepts of home, territory, transition, multiculturality, uprooting and solitude.

8. In the Meantime by Naudline Pierre

Naudline Pierre, In The Meantime, 2023
Oil and oil stick on linen
60 × 48 inches
Image: courtesy of James Cohan, New York.

Naudline Pierre with James Cohan (New York) at Frieze

In the Meantime, one of the most captivating paintings by Haitian-American artist Naudline Pierre detoured us from the pre-designed Frieze route. The artwork’s glaring fuschia flames were pulling the crowd’s current even during peak hours this weekend. The alluring powers of Pierre’s characters easily disrupt the bi-dimensional nature of the pictorial practice. Driving the presence of her audiences to an astral dimension, suspended between the painting’s foreground and background, while mesmerized by the characters’ mystical fashions and personas. The architectural construction of the scene reveals a familiar understanding of sacred image-making, leaving the spectator with an insatiable desire to inhabit the umbral of Pierre’s Neo-Baroque world.

9. I’ve Missed You by Quiara Torres

Quiara Torres I’ve Missed You, 2022
Oil, dye on Burlap Sacks
163 x 130 cm
Image courtesy of the artist.

Quiara Torres with UUU Art Collective (NY) at FOCUS Art Fair

I’ve Missed You by Dominican-American artist Quiara Torres opens the room for ancestral conversations and intentional practices for community outreach. Torres, born and raised in Harlem, NY, decided to relocate to Samaná, a coastal region located in the east side of the Dominican Republic, during the pandemic. Her work weaves together stories of family migration, cultural heritage and black representation in historical narratives. Her latest series unpacks realms of representation through mythical characters, inhabiting landscapes recollected from childhood memories, or principal figures whose lives were transcended into local folk tales.

10. Otras Caricias by Ánima Correa

Ánima Correa, Otras Caricias, 2023
Oil on linen
40 × 30 inches
Image courtesy of Hunter Shaw Fine Art, LA.

Ánima Correa with Hunter Shaw Fine Art (Los Angeles) at NADA

Otras Caricias by Ánima Correa is part of a special commission for this edition of NADA. The dramatic character depicted in Otras Caricias carried us to a place of comfort in which the aesthetics of Latin-American popular culture blend. The flamboyant glossy lipstick, and exaggerated expression bring flashbacks from 90’s Telenovelas colliding with green flashes from sonidero’s massive parties to finally coexist in the eternal reflection of an obsidian stone. Cyborg-esque themes and speculative design are central parts of Correa’s narratives, channeling visuals of possible worlds in the midst of global warming.

Dulcina Abreu Collado is a freelance art contributor for LATINA. Their curatorial collaborations have been featured at The Latinx Project at NYU, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, The New Museum, El Museo del Barrio and MoCA NY.