gallery Interview with artist Mariel Bayona

From the City of Juárez, Chihuahua, Mariel Bayona moved to the United States to attend college to pursue her Bachelors in Fine Arts and Art History degree in San Antonio, Texas, where she graduated in 2012. That same year, she received a scholarship to attend San Francisco Art Institute where she received her Masters in Fine Arts in 2014.

Her body of work includes Mexican folklore and prehistoric elements combined with contemporary, and pop culture iconography. The inspiration for her work comes from the famous Mexican Alebrijes, The Aztec Stone Calendar, symbolic elements from Chihuahua and the City of Juárez, as well as pop and urban icons.

Hosted at the General Consulate of Mexico in SOMA San Francisco and as part of their art residency ART STUDIO, “Tierra de Oro” is a solo exhibition where Bayona explores the issue of the ongoing seeking identity along with the impact surrounding the people that grow up in Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, México. Through this series of work, she introduces the questioning of identity so particularly mixed in the border that creates a sort of “limbo” of culture due to the exchange and fusion of customs between Mexico and the United States through the use of fantastical animal hybridity. Tierra de Oro also refers to The Golden Rush of San Francisco in 1800s –land that has been a home for many of the immigrants in the United States while also pointing out the golden sands and horizon of the Chihuahuan desert. In a personal matter, the exhibition compares San Francisco as a base and second home while Chihuahua being her place of origin.

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