Artist Talk: The Poetry and Politics of Piñatas
What do piñatas signify? Join us for a thought provoking discussion with artists from the exhibition as they delve into the evocative power that piñatas have in our society. Artists Diana Benavidez, Isaias Rodriguez, and Giovanni Valderas will discuss the metaphorical language of piñatas—from capturing celebratory memories to social and political issues. Lived streamed on September 17, 2021.
About the Panelists:
Diana Benavidez is a Binational artist from the San Diego/Tijuana border region. Her art practice explores piñata-making as a method of expression and storytelling and her piñatas reflect her experiences growing up along the border, her identity, and culture. Her work is known for introducing materials not commonly found in traditional piñatas including media and technology. Benavidez received a BA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego and her art has been exhibited in Mexico, Canada, and the US.
Isaías D. Rodríguez is an independent multimedia producer and artist. Originally from Boyle Heights, CA, Isaías moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996, where he explored video production and multimedia art. Rodríguez began making his “little piñatas” several years ago, to hang from his car’s rear view mirror. He now creates limited edition series and custom orders, each piñata no larger than about 4 inches tall and wide. He currently lives in Fresno, CA.
Giovanni Valderas is a mixed media artist who makes three-dimensional works that address his relationship with his Guatemalan, Mexican, and American ancestry. Valderas incorporates and deconstructs elements of the traditional piñata in order to transform the piñata’s original identity as one of gratuitous celebration, into one of cultural construct. He challenges dominant power structures through what he views as the most frivolous of means: tissue paper. A native of Dallas, Giovanni Valderas Valderas graduated from the College of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas with a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting. He has taught several painting and drawing courses at the University of North Texas, Richland, and Mountain View College.
This project is supported by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Additional support for the Craft in America Center is provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. www.lacountyarts.org