Adriana Ramirez

Adriana Raquel was born, lives, and works in Oakland, California. In 2018 she received her bachelor of arts in Rhetoric and Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley.

In my work I am interested in the relationship between self-identity and our surroundings in their visual, emotional, and social capacities. To explore the realities of self-identity and its limits I gravitate toward portraiture and use color to represent how we relate to our surroundings and environment. I attempt to capture movement, strength and weakness, mood, and discomfort through abstraction and distortion of the face and body as a way of challenging the audience. I am asking them to add to the conversation of what it is to self-identify as well as how the conditions around us, specifically new media, affect these perceptions of the self. Meanwhile implementing a contrast of colors to provide distinct narratives about connection and states of being between subject and environment (historical, traditional, and social).
As a culture we are infatuated with language as a means of creating a reality about ourselves and our perceived identities. Our communal reliance on language has made the visual our dominant form of communication as we go through a stage of human development centered around literacy. Written language being our primary form of communication and understanding prioritizes a structured and linear perception of the world and by extension, of ourselves; in a society overstimulated by the visual we have grown to self-identify with the linear restrictions of a rigid and structured written language.
In an unprecedented time like today, many of us found ourselves uncomfortable facing ourselves during the roughest days and nights of quarantine. Many of us were freed from our typical environments and the elements and conditions that made up those environments that we identified in relation to on a daily basis. Our psyche was challenged and we were forced to define the self, not by using our occupation, our clothing, and social circles as an extension of ourselves, but instead forced to define ourselves in relation to solely ourselves.
In her book, Woman, Native, Other, Minh-ha quotes a wise Dogon man in a remote village in Africa stating that, “To be naked is to be speechless” Because without the ability to communicate ourselves to others with those extensions of ourselves, we are metaphorically naked. Naked and Free of our usual dependency on the visual.

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