"Artists are central, not peripheral, to social change," artist Favianna Rodriguez said in a 2013 essay entitled "Change the Culture, Change the World." "To have the movements that make the wave, you need cultural workers."
It is through cultural workers, commonly known as artists, that we are able to comprehend the true density of our history and complexity of our present. For Latinos, our culture is enriched in visual statements that display our struggles that, at times, can be difficult to absorb, but nonetheless assist us in looking to the future with passion and optimism.
It is through artists like Frida Kahlo that we've been able to celebrate feminism and individuality, Diego Rivera who chronicled the fighting spirit of Mexicans, and Obed Gomez, hailed as the Puerto Rican Pablo Picasso, who amazingly captures the vibrant energy of Puerto Rico.
Today there's an abundance of extraordinary contemporary artists that fill our compass with a light that exposes our truths, our brilliance, and hopefully within their process bring positive change and clarity.
Here's some of our favorites.
Linda Lucía Santana
"Linda Lucía Santana work responds to the fading memory of Mexican narrative ballads, called corridos," Priscilla Frank writes for the Huffington Post. "Inspired by Magical Realism, she accompanies corridos with fictitious portraits of their subjects, most of which were never photographed. In her work, 'Santana plays the role of artist, archivist and a corridista,' activating lost histories, living memories and the imaginative space in between."
Hasky is an American-born, Barcelona-based artist, who grew up in Miami, Florida and Panama City, Panama. She created a series titled "#CallOutCatCalls," which earned her a full scholarship to study graphic design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Barcelona.
Vivala: Do you consider your to be political?
Hasky: "I personally don’t consider my work to be political, the way I see it, my work mostly consists of my own thoughts and emotions."
V: What would you like to convey through your work?
Hasky: "An overall feeling of positivity and badassery."
V: What inspires you?
Hasky: "Pastel colors, weird feelings I’m trying to figure out, women in general cause women are awesome, random conversations, vintage comics, my friends… and so much more!"