PROBECITO ARTISTA QUE ERA YO (1)
In this new and deeply personal series, I embark on a heartfelt journey to understand the complex relationship I had with my late father. It encompasses an exploration of his profound influence on my artistic aspirations and the gradual deterioration of his mental health that commenced shortly after our migration to the United States. Due to my father's political affiliations, we fled our beloved El Salvador as refugees, leaving behind my mother's family, my father's successful career as an artist, and a comfortable upper middle-class lifestyle.
After settling in California, we encountered financial difficulties that contributed to my father's battle with alcoholism. This struggle became the catalyst for the abuse he inflicted on my mother, siblings, and me. Eventually my parents divorced, and with time, dad found solace in sobriety and rekindled his passion for painting -even though the recognition he sought remained elusive. Feeling lonely and destitute, he retired and returned to El Salvador, which settled as a democracy that ended the revolution. Unfortunately, within two years he passed away due to complications related to diabetes that were exacerbated by his relapse into alcohol.
Initially, my mourning was superficial since my father and I had been estranged for ten years, burdened by unresolved emotions and distance. However, during the pandemic, I stumbled upon a collection of family photos that sparked a profound awakening within me. With the use of collage, superimposed images, and textual elements, my aim is to conceptually reconstruct the adverse narrative I once held of my father. Employing various multimedia techniques, I depict him as an ethereal figure—a beacon of guidance, support, trust, and companionship. As this series unfolds, it invokes a transformative journey of reconciliation, urging me to confront the intricate complexities inherent in familial bonds, unearthing long-buried memories, and ultimately discovering solace through the profound capacity of forgiveness.
(1) The title of this series was inspired by Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton's book of poetry entitled "Probecito Poeta Que Era Yo". Dalton was a guerrilla sympathizer who was allegedly assassinated by members of the Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP), during the Salvadorian revolution.