Indias Bravas

Indias Bravas

Per the suggestion of a fellow blogger and virtual friend, Mo, I decided to post drawings currently in the works. These drawings are part of a body of work dealing with standards of beauty. After reading Joanne Rondilla’s academic work on colorism and skin lightening amongst Filipina woman; examining and visually depicting two opposite ends of the spectrum, indigenous and super model Filipina women, came naturally. With Joanne’s research serving as the impetus, I embarked on a project that become something much deeper than I had imagined.

Re-contextualizing and reinterpreting Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s Doll Test was my original intent. The series was supposed to be comprised of small drawings depicting indigenous and super model Filipina women with modified features. I was going to create a grid of these images. Very similar to Ellen Gallagher’s work, I was looking to re-appropriate images in popular culture. Yet, I’ve always wanted to incorporate blind contour drawing with my renderings. After a multitude of contour drawings as well as representational drawings, I layered them to add a bit more dimension and depth. Again, this series is far from finished but I will definitely let you know when I think they’re done.

Again, I’ll post more soon. It’s been such an exhausting day! I’ll pick up some time again tomorrow…

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

5 thoughts on “Indias Bravas”

  1. Love love love them!!! Thank you so much for sharing these. The drawings (today’s and yesterday’s) are so beautiful and fascinating. And this seems like such a perfect medium for exploring colorism. I don’t know if this is the point you mean to make, but the dark woman is every bit as beautiful as the lighter one. (P.S. I never heard the word colorism until just now, but I’m familiar with the concept — it was a huge recurring theme in that book by Isabel Allende that I just read.)

  2. These are gorgeous! I wish I had such a talent. When I was a teen, I did love to draw. I was pretty decent at it, too. But I never really applied myself to it, not like you have. I hope you continue to do so, because you have a great gift.

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