Through a combination of hand-sewn textiles and paints, Maria A. Guzmán Capron joins together an array of patterns and striking colors to fashion bodily forms. Merging figuration with abstraction, these works explore cultural hybridity, pride, and the competing desires to assimilate and to be seen. Born in Milan, Italy to Colombian and Peruvian parents and later relocating to Texas as a teenager, the artist recognizes the challenges of toggling between various cultures and geographies. Her multilayered textile works emphasize that we consist of several identities, some that we repress and some that we exalt.
Capron’s practice explores how clothing is used as a marker of class, gender, and cultural identity. Recycled fabric, in particular, is central to the genesis of her work. Privileging off-cut fabrics—literally centering materials that have been cut and rejected as excess—becomes a metaphor for centralizing that which society undervalues. By contrasting common fibers like cotton with more luxurious fabrics like silk, the artist addresses material hierarchies in art and fashion to parallel the power dynamics that exist within class and gender. She is invested in the friction of mistranslations—of failing to “dress the part” or having one’s pride in self-expression overcast by exoticization.
Maria A. Guzmán Capron (b. 1982) was born in Italy to Colombian and Peruvian parents. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA in 2015 and her BFA from the University of Houston, TX in 2004. Solo exhibitions include Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Texas State Galleries, San Marcos, TX; Premier Junior, San Francisco, CA; Roll Up Project, Oakland, CA; and Guerrero Gallery San Francisco, CA. Select group exhibitions include Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY; NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; pt.2 Gallery, Oakland, CA; CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA; Deli Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; and Mana Contemporary in Chicago, IL. Her works have been written about in Hyperallergic, Variable West, Bomb Magazine, and Art in America.
The artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery Celaje is on view through January 8.