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@armandoroman on instagram

I am an artist who makes work on paper. The paper varies, colored construction paper, rice paper, canvas. My work combines digital brushstrokes with physical marks made often with crayon, colored pencils, and washable marker. The Mexican landscape, both cultural and literal, is of particular interest to me. I make these drawings to better understand my own relationship to this landscape, which is simultaneously familiar and foreign to me. Familiar, in that countless stories have been retold to me of this place, where my father and mother are from. Foreign, in that I have no physical relationship to the country. There is no cultural specificity in my palette, or the patterns I employ to remove white space from my compositions. The colors are ambiguously placed, referencing what could be a specific identity-based aesthetic. I think about my compositions in terms of border and center. The center, typically drawn digitally, often does not interact with the border. There is a clear distinction between the two. The surrounding borders are drawn by hand, using a similar palate than its digital counterpart in the center. The relationship between border and center, and its eventual collapse in the work, reflects the competing narrative that exists within my own relationship to Mexican culture.

I hope to better understand concepts of community and self through making work. Running parallel to this is in my thinking is Chicano scholar Tomás Ybarra-Fraustoʼs theory on rasquachismo. Ybarra- Frausto describes rasquachismo as taking an “underdog perspective, a view from los de abajo”. Key to this term is its function not only in my work, but throughout the entirety of my existence. Because of this, I make my work easy to share and replicate. I often give my work as gifts, as the digital centers of each work can be printed with ease. Hybridization, juxtaposition, and integration are used in my work as a tool of resistance.

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