She was Real

Materials: media, acrylic, pastel, and image transfers
“Thank you for an opportunity to display my artwork. I hope your conference is productive because it is so important. Obviously to me, but also to society. Everyday I see people become more entrenched into their criminal behavior and I just have to imagine there is a better way to protect all aspects of our society. I have found that prison invites a certain amount of introspection and a need to express the results. For me, art is a way to accomplish both.

It seems that I shaped my young life around a distorted reality that I found in media at a young age. Today, I use this same media to explore my previous misunderstandings by appropriating it for artistic purposes. Primarily, I use images from fashion magazines, a common commodity and focus of much attention in a men’s Federal Prison. I recompose these images, adding a new context to them that express my own sense of isolation, frustration, and societal impotence as well as my growing understanding of previous wrongs. I do this while also questioning the magazine’s original context of economics, art, and sexuality. The resulting work, including its title, is always autobiographical and represents a terrible beauty found in both past actions and lessons learned.” – Tomás

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