Monica Curiel - Paintings and Art
Monica Curiel

Monica Curiel

Kansas City, MO

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My work is reflective of my experience as a first-generation Mexican–American woman and cancer survivor. I consider myself equal halves Mexican as I do American, but I mostly as a creator and artist. I like to surprise people with my work. I would describe my work as more masculine; I love creating dark, black compositions but I also enjoy creating pieces that are light and playful. In my work, I challenge the cultural gender norms passed down to me as a woman. I do not outwardly create hyper-feminine works because I want the viewer to see the works for what they are, what they are composed of, and not judge the work as made by a male or a female artist. Most of my work also stems from a need to create a sense of serenity. My art aims to capture experiences in powerful abstract forms that are open to individual sense-making and interpretation. It has been especially important for me during the current time of isolation to create an environment in which I feel at peace. The works I create are intentionally made to reside in spaces that people inhabit and frequent. I want to enrich the spaces people interact with. This is what also drives my passion throughout my collections.

As the daughter of immigrants, whose parents contribute to the Latino labor force, I have developed a great appreciation for those who work in laborious jobs. A line of work that many immigrants and people of color are left to do. As a painter, I aim to create pieces that I feel honor those whose jobs are unnoticed by many in society. It is the way I stay connected to my cultural roots, specifically my Mexican heritage.

How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"I believe that in my visceral practice I work with the materials, paints, and pigments – I do not solely manipulate them to my own advantage. A well-composed work for me is one that allows the materials to be.

When one works with natural or organic materials there always lies a beautiful imperfection and a transitory nature, that for me, must be seen and felt through its energy and composition.

Also, a little reggaeton, dancing, and my grouting tools make for great experimentation."
Monica CurielMonica Curiel

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