Today we’d like to introduce you to Zuly Garcia.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am a daughter of indigenous Oaxacan immigrants. I am a photographer based out of LA, and I concentrate on portrait photography, set designs, and social consciousness. Although I am mainly focused on art-photography, my work is inspired by Sociology theory to discuss social constructs and how to dismantle a socially constructed perspective of beauty, gender norms/expectations, toxic masculinity, and more. My passion for photography began at 13 years old when I would originally shoot concert/event photography. Over time I branched out to different subjects and fell in love with telling stories through the arts and inspiring others to dismantle a toxic constructed society through educational art.
Please tell us about your art.
I create art for the people by the people. My work is meant to heal and educate marginalized communities on how to love yourself and others. I create set designs with real flowers, color gels, and focus on educational themes that create discussions about contemporary society and social justice. In today’s society, we are constantly on social media and changing our narrative on beauty. This has created a social epidemic and has created unrealistic standards on beauty. My artwork creates a safe space for all folks from all identities, backgrounds, and bodies to come together in solidarity to honor their “flaws”. I work within my community and the work closely with the Latinx community in Los Angeles. I’ve collaborated with Mitú and have been featured by Mic News, NPR USA Latino, Mitú, Vogue España, Remezcla, Undocumedia, Diane Guerrero, and Hip Latina.
Higher education environments and Art institutions were never built for voices like mine, and the lack of representation in media due to a colonized mindset created an artist/activist in me. Which is why it was important for me to claim my space and use my platform for marginalized communities who feel like an outsider within a dominant culture. My biggest social media impact was through my project “Flores Politicos” a project that focuses on dismantling beauty standards, gender expectations, gender policing, and gender norms by burning Barbie Dolls. The Barbie dolls are symbolic of a European beauty standard/mindset of beauty that has been sold to kids throughout the globe. Many people grew up playing with Barbie without knowing how problematic she became not just in beauty standards but also gender and weight.
My message to all folks but specifically POC is to love yourself! Love your armpit hair, your hairy legs, stretch marks, scars, your nose, skin color, curves, and the list goes on. We were sold on an idea of beauty to not just colonize your mind but to capitalize off you. Everything in life is socially constructed so why not spend less time asking yourself why you don’t look like your idol on Instagram and start loving yourself unapologetically?
Its never too late to start today.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I definitely believe that due to the social problems we have today that has become through the presidency and the uprising of white supremacy/social consciousness has inspired many artists to express themselves through the arts. However, every artist tells a story whether its small or big and I think that role has not changed but has expanded throughout the years. Having an education to me is a privilege, and I understand some folks do not get to intake information that can be useful to them, and if I see an opportunity to teach about issues, then it affects my art.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
If you want to show support, I do have random pop-up art shows in Los Angeles in local art galleries, but things are constantly changing, therefore, to stay updated on my upcoming shows you can follow me on Instagram. If you want to see other work regarding the topic mentioned visit my website at crenshawproletariat.com, I do sell stickers and prints if you want to support my work and use it for educational purposes as well.
- Website: crenshawproletariat.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @zulydelarose
- Twitter: @zulydelarose
My Hairy Valentine