My artwork consists of paintings, drawings and prints that regard my physical self, my personal history, and Caribbean folklore. Caribbean folklore allows for malleability in the creation of the self, but I find my status as an Afro-Latina in the United States static and limiting in comparison. In response, I try to disrupt the current system of social categorization through the creation of characters that refuse definition. As more people become multiracial, skin tone is no longer a sufficient signifier. Growing media presence and more commonplace interactions via technology in our daily lives reduce each individual to a small part of a larger demographic. I use symbolically loaded scenarios to metaphorically illustrate the multiplicities and hypocrisies that make up the current discussion about race and class within popular culture.
Firelei Báez was born in the Dominican Republic to Dominican and Haitian parents, and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. She currently lives and works in New York. Her paintings, drawings and collages mine personal narratives and explore immigrant issues with a focus on gender and popular culture through the use of Afro-Caribbean folklore. She received a B.F.A. from the Cooper Union there she also attended an intensive studio program at the University of Georgia’s Instituto Universario Di Arte in Cortona, Italy. She was a participant in the Sckowhegan School of painting and Sculpture. She is a current candidate for M.F.A at Hunter College.
Current & Upcoming Exibitions:
"Boundless Discourse" Kresge Gallery at Ramapo College, NJ
"Hair Tactics" at the New Jersey City Museum, NJ
"Wearing Spirit" curated by Shantrelle Lewis at CCCADI, NY
"Resonance" Curated by Julie Opperman, Rabbithole Gallery, NY