Raelis Vasquez

Akisha, oil on canvas, 20×33, 2019

En Casa de Mama, oil on canvas, 30×40, 2018

Jugador de Futbol, oil on canvas, 24×24, 2018

Leah, oil on canvas, 12×16, 2019

Drawing on historical, political and personal narratives, my paintings are figurative compositions that conjure the complexity of the Afro-Latinx experience. The figures in my work inhabit a state of vulnerability that often encourages the viewer to question their positions on class, race, and geography. I immigrated to the United States in 2002 from the Dominican Republic. Today, I feel an overpowering responsibility (or calling) to the arts and towards my Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities.

I paint using oils in a naturalistic manner as a means to give clarity to the subjects I present. While painting, I am always cognizant of the history of the western style of representation that I am involved in. To be represented is to say that the subject is worthy of representation and that the subject exists as an essential element of societal life. My devotion is to the accurate representation of the convoluted histories of the Dominican Republic. I am aiming to highlight an allegorical narrative that presents the psychological states of the figures in my works while presenting a window to the viewer of their daily lives.

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