Selected works by Alida Cervantes

Alida Cervantes
Que hubiera sido de mi, si tu estuvieras aqui

2017

Oil on wood, found spray painted plywood panels

244x 244 cm
Alida Cervantes
No es soberbia, es amor

2017

Oil and acrylic spray paint on found wood panels mounted on wood frame

246 x 376 cm
Alida Cervantes
Desde que te conoci

2016

Oil, acrylic, acrylic spray paint on cardboard

243 x 180 cm
Alida Cervantes
Obediencia

2013

Oil on wood panel

182.88 x 213.36 cm
Alida Cervantes
Sensibilidad

2013

Oil on wood panel

182.88 x 213.36 cm
Alida Cervantes
Horizonte En Cálma

2011

Oil on wood panel

152.4 x 213.4 cm

Alida Cervantes’ paintings reimagine the perceived boundaries upon which social, economic, and political conditions remain contingent. Raised in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, the artist’s home environment instilled from an early age a sense of Mexico’s hierarchical binaries of race, class and culture. Cervantes’ vivid historical paintings mask a reality in which social and political disparities play out on two levels, both within the intimate social structures of the artist’s home life and in the actuality of the political border that constitutes an impenetrable threshold for many Mexican citizens. The city of Tijuana provides the springboard into a painterly investigation of the actions, relationships and perceptions of Mexico’s cross-cultural and multi-ethnic society.

Alida Cervantes
Matadora

2011

Oil on wood panel

152.4 x 213.4 cm

Cervantes’ work explores the intricacy and intimacy of power using painterly devises to create works of semi-narrative that address age-old dynamics of dominance and submission, an uncomfortable yet inescapable part of human nature. Thus, Cervantes’ paintings adopt a strongly Mexican cultural discourse, as they are implicated within wider narratives of colonial and post-colonial representation. Images of secrecy and intrigue, transgression and subversion, as they exist in the artist’s imagination become sites for the enactment of momentary impulses and sexualised desires. The collision of Catholic, indigenous, and African religious aspects is apparent through expressions of sin, guilt and sacrifice, as they might have been performed in some fantastical place. Cervantes paintings playfully attempt to re-root individuals in an alternative reality, fragmentary characters are imbued with meaningful agency as they revolt against a grand narrative.

Alida Cervantes
El Pretendiente

2010

Oil on wood panel

152.4 x 213.4 cm

In her series of paintings inspired by Mexico’s casta paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, Cervantes’ imagines the Spanish colonial caste system in Mexico with its strict racial taxonomies and hierarchies. Her engagement with this distinct racial make-up invites the viewer to re-imagine colonial experience by emphasising the deliberate erasure of black bodies from history. Spain’s conquest and subsequent colonisation of Mexico is animated by an overt vulgarity (Matadora, 2011), while other paintings skew representations to complicate classical and abstract formations. The unfolding narrative of domination, subjugation, and submission between individuals plays out through a range of figurative scenarios tainted by sex and violence. Scenes of male castration and bloody revenge that typify the artist’s tongue-in-cheek approach to painting (Horizonte En Calma, 2011) reveal the politics of Mexico’s increasingly hybridised identities.

Alida Cervantes
Mamá

2010

Oil on wood panel

152.4 x 213.4 cm

© Osei Bonsu, 2014


Articles

MEXICAN PAINTER ALIDA CERVANTES DIPS HER BRUSH IN SEX, RACE, AND VIOLENCE
Sept 30 2015, Broadly

You'll recognize the stories in Alida Cervantes' paintings, even if you haven't seen some of them play out like this before—after all, a lot of girls confess to having done some bad things to their Barbies. Cervantes, a Mexican artist who was born in San Diego but grew up in Tijuana, plays with dolls, puppets, kitsch figurines, and masks: the miniatures, for the most part, that we've made of people. She blows them up - these paintings are big—and explodes assumptions about image and power. Cervantes' paintings present a kind of distilled folklore, both hellish and humorous, telling tales of love and violence and the power struggles inevitable in both.

Read the entire article here
Source: Broadly


ALIDA CERVANTES: LOS MAS BARBAROS
May 23 2011, Art week LA

The paintings are inspired by Colonial Mexican casta paintings which depict a variety of racially diverse couples and their offspring in different settings, often arranged denoting their social class. Cervantes’ paintings depict mixed-raced men, women and children using a loosely painted style to create an eerie, disjointed interpretation of race amidst images of violence and aggression. In her video, a cross-dressing satire, the artist plays the character of El Puro, a Cuban exile living in San Diego who has a regular daytime job but whose fantasy is to be a Cuban salsa singer.
Born in San Diego in 1972, Alida Cervantes earned a BA from The University of California, San Diego (1995); studied at Scuola di Arte Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy and is currently an MFA candidate at UC San Diego. This is her first solo exhibition with the gallery. Cervantes lives and works in San Diego and Tijuana.

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Source: artweekla


TIMBA IN DRAG: ALIDA CERVANTES
Nov 12 2011, Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, etnocuba

It is not so common for heterosexual women to dress in drag, as men, and mock gender stereotypes. Not in the Cuban context. That is not to say that macho men mannerisms are not the objects of jokes and comic skits, like The Pichy boys do -to just name one example among many; (some of their videos, aired at Miami’s canal 41, are on youtube and are hilarious. But Alida Cervantes, a San Diego-based, Tijuana-native, painter and an MFA candidate at UCSD, has a discourse about it that goes beyond the mere mockery and seeks to expose male domination and subvert Cuban -and Latin- machismo. She does not propose to transcend the biologies of gender nor their social value -hers is not a queer performance. What she seeks is to destabilize the cultural associations that are attached to the male-female opposition in Latin societies. Alida is intimately acquainted with Afro-Cuban culture, partly via her life partner Silfredo La O Vigo, who is a supporting character in her “El Puro” series, pa’ que luego no digan de los hombres cubanos. She directly confronts the expectations surrounding heterosexual and interracial erotic desires by performing the various characters that conform this gendered universe. She dresses in drag and impersonates timba stars who, in turn, have made a career out of glorifying their hyper machismo. She also takes on the role of the sexually voracious woman demanded by the macho man.
Alida uses play back to perform some of their most popular dance numbers, which, at the same time, she makes into video pieces. Here are two examples. In the first, she is performing Manolito y su Trabuco’s Te Dejo Libre, a song about a woman who, left by the man, will remain a spinster. In the second video, she performs all the characters, male and female, in a song by NG La Banda.

Read the entire article here
Source: etnocuba.ucr