Focus on Self-Portraiture: Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez
I first met Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez in her capacity as a curator. I had no idea that I was working with a powerhouse self-portrait artist as well. Anabel’s photographs are mysterious and haunting, revealing a woman caught between two worlds. Originally from Puerto Rico but now based in New England, she explores ideas of displacement and liminality. She often wears a blindfold or covers her face, suggesting that she is in a place but not of it. Palm trees, blood, snow, and skylines weave through her work. Some of her more surrealistic photographs show a woman fragmented, but a woman strongly connected to subconscious creative fire. Projections and live performance also play a large role in her practice, questioning the imposition of identity versus actual presence. Anabel’s process inspires me to reach deeper than I think I can, to create my own mysterious realm, and to embrace strength and softness in the same breath. She currently has work in these exhibitions: Juntxs: Colección Jorge Hernández Castrodad curated by Dianne Brás Feliciano Ph.D, Museo de Diseño de Miramar, San Juan, PR, El Sujeto Develado, Auto-imagen en la Fotografía Contemporánea, curated by Mariel Quiñones Vélez, Museo de Arte Dr. Pío López Martínez, Cayey, PR, and Ruffles, Repair & Ritual: The Fine Art of Fixing curated by Faythe Levine, Wedding Cake House, Providence, RI.
My creative work revolves around several key themes, a personal almost autobiographical viewpoint, the close distance between daydreaming and reality. Within that distance is my female blood body, a Puerto Rican woman, self-exiled full of the sun and the moon. Exploring concepts of being and not being, life and death as major allies, are evident. Projects are approached from a historical, mythological and/or sociopolitical view. Personal connections through the physicality of the body and its broader connections becoming palpable. – Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez
Anabel Vázquez Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and organizer based somewhere in-between Borikén and Providence. Her artistic production explores the colonial system, otherness, resistance, nostalgia, the galactical and feminist discourse; all derived from her experience as an antillean living in New England. She studied photography at the Liga de Arte de San Juan, with Frieda Medín (1993 -1995) and continued her studies in photography, sculpture, and punk rock, as a Fine Arts Painting major at the Department of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico (1995-1998). Vázquez Rodríguez self-exiled in 1998 and pursued a Photography BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston (2002), where she expanded her practice into filmmaking and installation. She has exhibited, lectured and performed nationally and internationally. In addition to being an artist, she has developed an extensive career as a curator and cultural manager, with her most recent tenure at Leica Gallery Boston. She is currently an adjunct professor at the RISD Photography Department and Program Manager for the Interlace Grant Fund.
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