Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Exhibition: Manos De Oro
Media: Video, Found Objects, Manipulation of Found Objects, Installation Work
Gallery: Max L. Gatov East
Instagram: Does not currently have one
About the Artist
Dulce is an astonishing BFA: Sculpture major, who really attempts to relate to her pieces. In this particular piece, she related it back to her father, so just by seeing it and hearing her talk, it’s very evident that her family is a very important part of who she is and her art. Her family is originally from Mexico; her, her dad and her sisters are officially US citizens – her mom is still working on her citizenship.
Her piece was strategically placed – with different gardening machines and equipment placed in specific areas of the floor, different wall mount placed among the walls and a giant screen for the projector to show the video of her dad. She used worn-out machines that made it evident that they’d been used to do yard work. She painted the machine engines, pieces and tools in the exhibit in metallic gold. She used shrubs in the corners of the room, as well as a patch of grass in the middle. The colors in the room were gold (of course) and mainly green to show the greenery that is cut and shaped when gardeners are working.
Her thought process through the presentation of her piece was to show how the hands of humans are “gold,” hence the exhibit title – Manos De Oro. Her dad is someone that she looks up to- she finds great pride in how he makes his living, although it goes “unnoticed,” she really shed light onto the subject of Latino’s in the workforce, whose hard work often goes unseen – and that who is she specifically relates this piece to. She used the gold as an ironic element in this piece, she stated that gold has a very high value in the world today; it serves as a basis of class or wealth. But in this case, she’s showing that gold isn’t something that is necessarily tangible, but that it is something within each of us – in this case, it’s within her father’s hand due to the work that he does. The pride she has in her dad and his line of work shows that this idea of “gold” is not something that is physical, but rather something that one naturally has. Her dad and his hands, in this case, are golden in that they are hard-working and proud.
This piece was very sentimental to me, personally, because I also come from a family with a Mexican background. I was able to relate to Dulce, because this piece showed the hard work that her dad did to get to where he is now, and in a sense, my dad was in the same position. My dad comes from a family of 10 children; where my grandpa owned a fruit-picking business and all 10 of the kids grew up picking until they were out of his house. My dad picked fruit until he was 18 and after that, made his own living and now is very successful in what he does and this goes to show how hard work really does pay off. They are different scenarios, of course; however, both backstories show how hard work and perseverance can bring gratitude, pride and proudness to anyone.