The central preoccupation unifying all my work is an engagement with the practice of the old masters, particularly those of the Baroque and Rococo periods. Their perfection of craft, their exploration of narrative modes, and their explicit connection to history and politics are a source of continuing fascination and inspiration to my work. Embedding contemporary iconography and themes in a classical figurative craft, I seek to tease out the hidden relationships and continuities between classical art and current culture.
As a gay, Catholic, Mexican-American artist, the complex themes of race, sexuality, subjectivity and identity find themselves entwined within the baroque imagery of my paintings, sculptures, textiles and videos. The unifying themes behind my current body of work are Lucha Libre, or Mexican free wrestling, and the confluence of cultures brought about through conquest and emigration in the Americas, both ancient and modern. Masks, capes and tights become important accessories of the Lucha Libre costumes and pre-Hispanic and colonial mythology. The works also touch on the homoerotic connotations of hyper-masculine activities like wrestling and male bonding at sporting events. Most importantly, my pieces bring a contemporary Chicano perspective to colonial painting and the textile traditions of the Americas, and to larger issues of multiculturalism, our shared and painful history, and to identity politics.