As an artist, one works towards the answer. The answer comes through process and the process yields a tangible artistic style which becomes clearer and clearer. The same can be said for Linda Vallejo's work. As one looks through her recent project 'Make 'Em All Mexican.' there is this underlying question of what it means to be Mexican.
Vallejo isn't necessarily giving the viewer answers but opening their eyes to a possible solution. Vallejo says " If we can see ourselves positively and are less likely to consider how others view us, we can grow to move ahead." Viewers have walked up to her sculptures and felt something society has never allowed them to feel, that of acceptance. Vallejo repurposes porcelain sculptures and copies of iconic paintings found in antique stores like figures of George Washington, The Virgin Mary, the Mona Lisa and even a bust of Superman, to name a few, and painted them all Brown. Vallejo gives the viewer a new way of seeing themselves as heroes, leaders and even Saints. But Vallejo also opened up the dialogue about why, in Latino neighborhoods, the stores carry figures that look white?
'Make 'Em All Mexican' became the catalyst for the question that lead to her most current body of work 'The Brown Dot Project' opening at Salt Fine Art's 'Colectiva 2015' Exhibition in Laguna Beach from June 4 through September 3, 2015. Vallejo asked the question "Keepin' it brown, what would my work look like if I was a minimalist?"
Vallejo began working on paper and finally found the answer in translating demographic population data of Latinos living in Los Angeles County to create geometric patterns made up of thousands of brown dots. These images give the viewer a minimalist perspective of a larger socioeconomic issue. Vallejo is literally counting one Latino at a time, brown dot by brown dot.
Vallejo says "The artistic process presents endless questions with an endless series of answers." One could compare these new works to the geometric Nazca Lines of Peru where the exact numerical value and perspective are imperative. Both have meaning, both go deeper on closer inspection and both are culturally significant and relevant.
To see more of Linda's work click any photo below or visit www.lindavallejo.com
Born in Boyle Heights, a culturally rich neighborhood of Los Angeles, Vallejo has lived and traveled throughout the world. As a professional grant writer Vallejo also teaches the art to anyone interested in learning. Vallejo says about her Grant Writing work 'You know art doesn’t make money it spends money. You have to have money coming from somewhere to be able to buy supplies.' In fact it was her profession that allowed her to visit Galleries and Museums all over the United States that gave her inspiration for 'Make 'Em All Mexican' after noticing artists utilizing repurposed art and later realizing why can't they be brown.