Monica Curiel is a mixed media artist and a Dallas, Texas native, born to immigrants from western Mexico. Curiel’s experience as a first-generation Mexican American is at the core of her work. She intentionally manipulates non-traditional materials such as grouting tools, plaster, wood stain, and house paints – construction materials commonly used by the Latino labor force – to create pieces that draw Curiel back to her cultural roots. Through the use of these construction materials, Curiel feels she honors the sacrifices her parents made as immigrants in order to create an opportunity for a better life. As an American born individual, Curiel’s struggle to balance her identity as both an American and Mexican woman is evident when examining her work.
"As a first-generation Mexican-American artist and cancer survivor, Monica Curiel's captivatingly textural and organic abstract paintings are informed by both adversity and hope. She intentionally brings a certain level of masculinity to the canvas, a practice she describes as a means of challenging gender norms; rather than fixating on her femininity, she hopes her audience will see her work simply for what it is. She is motivated by the honor of immigrants and people of color, who often are left with laborious jobs as a result of systemic racism and xenophobia — her work is a love letter to her Mexican heritage."