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Cynthia Velásquez


Instagram @cyyynthiavelasqqquez


I partnered with Chicanx artist, Aarum Alatorre of Pacoima Techno, in a performance piece that centers on belonging, discomfort, and adjusting to post-art school life. Our living performance piece takes the shape of a phone call accompanied with visuals (foto and film). Our aim is to share our deep friendship that serves as a strong foundation to examine our concerns on Latinx Art inclusion and recognition in the art world. As Latinx brown artists making a living off of our art while remaining insistent on being included in the art world raises complicated feelings around being included, getting paid, and getting inspired. Aarum and I share a similar art-making process that directly reflects our daily lives; relationships to family, home, and diasporic identities; generational trauma; music; and side-hustles. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley with immigrant parents, our experience felt similar in art school, prompting us to further reflect on the challenges that come with pursuing art-making in our world where our immigrant parents do not/are unable to support it. Phone calls, voice messages, videos, and fotos are the main ways Aarum and I have recently connected straying away from Zoom (as it’s now too closely associated with our 9-5 job operations). In this CHARLA, we aim to connect, reflect, and honor our experiential knowledge through raw story-telling.


Cynthia Velásquez is a queer Latinx artist from LA, CA. As a creative-maker, she is influenced by her experience as a daughter of immigrants, the legacy of story-telling, and the restorative power of chisme. Her work often incorporates photos from her family albums. The photos act as gateways to a collective memory of her childhood in the city. When revisiting old photos, Cynthia’s memories of the moment meld with the many versions she’s heard from others. Chisme meets memory. Memory meets chisme. Her work aims to embrace joy and discomfort associated with identity formation and the magic of memories. Mediums include multimedia painting, ink, clay, audio-recorded stories and photography. Cynthia currently lives in southern Maine with her family.