Morgan Cristine Flores
b. Los Angeles, 1981
As an abstract expressionist visual artist and Mexican-American woman, I seek to expand the language of Abstract Expressionism to include cultural and environmental narratives. I weave my personal experiences with research into the art, history, and culture of my Mexican and Mexican-American heritage, and contemporary works of Mexican, Chicanx and Latinx artists and activists to arrive at work representing the shades, flavors and nuances of the felt experiences of my existence, and that seeks to communicate on the many levels of my collective. Environmentalism is also central to my practice, specifically, issues of land stewardship, conservation, and the ecological care practices of the original inhabitants of the Americas. Incorporating this knowledge into my art practice is also how I seek to reconcile the common Mexican, Chicanx and Latinx experience of having been "detribalized" through the motions of colonization and continuing anti-Indigenous biases.
My current work is informed by my observations of my day-to-day life and the everyday landscape of my homeland in California. I delve into historical research of place and ecology based on significant intersections of humans and the environment. I collect found, recycled, reclaimed and scavenged objects based on my observations and research. If I purchase a new object, is it something that is useful and that can be reused and/or donated once the course of the art piece is over. I then bring these objects into my studio, washing, sorting, and organizing them, these actions reminding me of work of the home. The constant movement of objects feels like a continuous performance, the laboriousness resonates with my unending experience of searching for identity and place. This metaphoric and literal "juggling" results in juxtapositions and arrangements of gestural motions to create sculptures and assemblages that range between loose and constructed, temporary and more "permanent," in an interplay between the intentional and the spontaneous, working closely with chance and discovery in the process. The concept of having a “light footprint” guides how I work.
The process of making also serves as a space for me to metabolize and express the difficult emotions that come up around studying the history of colonization of the Americas and how this history is echoed in our current economic system of colonial capitalism and environmental degradation; My art practice is also a way for me to express my hopes and desires in seeking joy, love, connection, reconciliation and nourishment amidst the chaos of our contemporary social, political and environmental landscape.