por Lina Pulgarin
I will let you in on a little secret, I’m a maximalist. No, it’s not a political party - it’s the belief that “Less is a Bore”. When I see white walls, gray upholstery, light wooden furniture, I’m not relaxed. Minimalism does not make me feel like I can breathe, it makes me feel like a space isn’t my own - like nobody has or will live there. Bold colors, patterns, varying textures - this makes me feel like home. It makes a lot of sense - I grew up in Colombia and would often spend months at my aunt’s farm in Santuario.
This is my happy place. Mismatching, colorful but full of life. Frankly, it doesn’t even make sense that minimalism is tied to meditation and a clear head. Meditation is most closely tied to Hindus and even if you’ve never been to India you know, it is not a minimalist country: patterns, colors, texture, temples and even the food is extreme. Minimalism is a … western mind-frame.
In 2019 the Institute for Contemporary Art held an exhibition on Maximalist Art & Design titled “Less is a Bore”. The curator Janelle Porter had this note that really spoke to me “... maximalism should be considered an attitude, an approach that looks outward to myriad expressions of culture rather than inward toward the artist’s psyche. … Maximalism is the embrace to minimalism’s rejections: more complexity, more inclusion, more exuberance. More more more.”
Many of us who identify as Latinx, are immigrants or are descendants of immigrants and we have a lot of complexity. We live often between two cultures. This means we have had two childhoods, two pasts - I know Mary Kate & Ashley movies, but I also know El Chavo del Ocho. I watched Ugly Betty on ABC but I also watched the original “Yo Soy Betty, la fea”. We have two+ points of cultural reference - and I want the space that I live in to reflect that.
Working on the various pieces for eje 64, we always keep this in mind. How do these pieces reflect who we are and project it out to the world. We want these pieces to act as a reminder for when we forget who we are, a motivation to never hide one part of ourselves from others. Be bold, be bright, embrace maximalism, embrace all of who we are. We are, eje 64.