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Enter the World of GOLD

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This community started as a personal project. With two genesis points. The First being my own.  I'm adopted, from a city that borders Brazil, located in Paraguay called Ciudad Del Este (City of the East). I grew up in a family and community that did not look like me. I constantly felt as though I had to shape shift into fitting whatever space I was in.  I never quite felt like I was enough, because I never  felt seen. This wasn't due to lack of love, it was due to lack of representation and connection. 

I remember the first time anyone ever drew me. It was in undergrad, one of my roommates had a portrait assignment and asked if I would be their subject. I accepted their invitation, and a couple weeks later I was shown a portrait of ME. I realized that until that moment, I had never felt seen, never felt beautiful, never saw myself in art as art, and honestly I probably never felt worthy of it either. 

For it to be true that  someone wanted to study me, learn my form and celebrate me was empowering. I was moved to tears. For the first time I felt seen. My details, and how light and shadow came together were intimately, carefully studied and crafted  to form me. This sparked a deeper conversation for me; “If this was my first time, seeing myself in art as art, who else has yet to? And when I’m in a museum, when I see art, and or artifacts made by or of people from other cultures and backgrounds, was their consent part of the conversation?”

I started to think about who’s stories were told and by who. Was the painting of a black woman hanging on the walls of a notable museum one that started with the question of “May I paint you?” and was she a part of the creative process beyond being a subject? Is this piece meant to tell her story and if so is she telling the story or is her image being used to tell a story by the artist? Is the painting of migrant workers one of intimacy and care or exploitation? The list goes on. The questions deepen.

The second genesis point for The Gold Community was in 2017 when I lost some significant beings in my life when their lives ended. As a way to cope I started to draw my friends, my loved ones, and my chosen family.

In a way these drawings were to study, to memorize the curve of someone's neck, the lines of their hands, the shape of their eyes and how beautiful being is. In another way, they were to ensure that I was seeing those around me. Their unique details and form, the way light and shadow created shape to illuminate them and make them visible. I started to listen deeper to the people around me, who became more than a friend or loved one, but also a  living, breathing work of art, who had a story I wanted to hear if they wanted to share. 

This work started in an honest attempt to preserve and celebrate what I couldn't before, someone's life, story, dreams and being. I couldn't give the ones who had passed a portrait of their face, a drawing of their hands, an image of them being. So instead, I would work to give that to those still being and becoming. Art - serving as Proof of being. Proof of being seen. Proof of being felt. The vital gift of being seen and celebrated for being themselves. 

I think art does that. That in simply being created it is worthy enough of being seen, heard and celebrated. That is what The Gold Community is composed of; of beings who simply because they are being are worthy of being seen, heard, and celebrated.

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