A Border Artist’s Vision of Inheritance and Trauma

Griselda Rosas, “Buena suerte, dijo el gafe” (2020–21), embroidery over faux ostrich skin and acrylic, 48 x 58 inches (framed)

LA JOLLA, Cali. — Born in Tijuana in 1977, artist Griselda Rosas has her ear to the ground on both sides of the California-Mexico border, listening intently to the eternal stories of conquest, colonization, and conversion. The stories flow into drawings and sculptures, multilayered imagery in which thread, paint, and collage combine to create an almost archaeological presentation of hybrid cultures and histories.

Rosas, who earned an MFA at San Diego State University and teaches art at a local community college, is experiencing a “sort of emergence” as Jill Dawsey, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, told Hyperallergic in a phone conversation. The artist’s first solo show, Yo te cuido (“I take care of you”), is currently on view at the museum’s La Jolla location. According to Dawsey, the title is an expression of care and concern as well as a promise of protection. It springs, in large part, from Rosas working with the positioning of objects such as slingshots and toy soldiers as both actual toys and symbols of war, colonization, and cultural fragmentation.

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