In a print created by artist Edith Chávez, a girl stands in a floral dress, surrounded by petals and feathers. At first glance, the image is a dainty portrait of girlhood, rendered in warm pink and soft grey. But, the girl’s expression is mournful. And, on closer look, you notice the cause for her concern: she’s holding a plate of severed chicken heads.
It’s a jarring realization that throws the pains of domestic duties into relief. Womanhood and the traditional tasks attached to it aren’t all rosy, Chávez says through her work. They can also be gritty, and anxiety-making.
Chávez is one artist highlighted in an exhibit of women printmakers from Mexico on display at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, titled "Sus Voces" and curated by Maria Cristina Tavera. Like the others in the collection, she focuses directly on themes of femininity in her work, and currently lives or works in Mexico.
Although they explore different realms -- politics, domesticity, identity, race and gender -- the women are all united by their medium. They each use lithography or primary relief to make their etched-like, earthy-looking prints.
Contrasting Chávez’s work are the prints of Daniela Ramirez whose themes are more fantastical than gritty. A human with a winged creature for a head depicts a convergence of the man-made world and the natural world. Adding another aesthetic altogether to the collection, Diana Morales Galicia’s abstract, chaotic prints generate a feeling of unease.
See Chávez’s geometric prints, along with other works by women from Mexico:
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