Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Dulce Soledad Ibarra is an undergraduate student at Cal State Long Beach. She is earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of Art in the Sculpture Program. When asked about her interests, she mentioned that she loves karaoke. She picks the songs she likes to sing based off of the feedback she gets from the crowd. Although she has a few favorite artists she leaves it up to what the crowd is like that particular night to decide what to sing. Some of her favorites include Selena and Juan Gabriel who are both very influential Mexican singers. She also has a pet rabbit named Echo. In her art she channels the remembrance of her aunt who passed away through her belongings and setting them up in a way that helps her understand why
Dulce’s Recuerdos consisted of her one of her aunt’s possessions that were left after her passing. Her aunt had many belongings and collected dolls, knick knacks, and other objects. These items were dolls that were still in their original packaging, handmade dolls from Mexico that were in traditional dress and with braids, knit blankets, supermarket calendars and yellow furniture. They were set up in what seemed like a random fashion but they were placed so eloquently and everything looked like if it was where it was supposed to be. There also childhood pictures of Dulce as well as other family members.
After reading a pamphlet that Dulce wrote about her solo exhibition, the audience learns about her aunts last moments of life and we get to see what exactly she meant to Dulce. She helped raise her and her loss was a great one to Dulce. She is of Mexican descent and we see this a lot in her work. At the end she writes an excerpt in Spanish about her aunt. When speaking to her she states that when she put her show together that she didn’t really make it as a tribute to her aunt but instead used it as a way to understand her aunt. Although she agreed that to some degree it does honor her. She mentioned that her aunt never married and never had children and she never questioned her aunt’s sexuality and neither did her family. It was just what she did and it was accepted. Her aunt’s room also had a lot of yellow in it which we see in the art show as well as in the pamphlet. She described yellow as being a color that represented youth as in babies and toddlers or a really old person. She felt that there wasn’t an age group between these two that it represented.
Synthesis/ My Experience
When I first walked through the gallery to see Recuerdos, I thought it represented a traditional Mexican home which reminded me of my own upbringing. The super market calendars and handmade dolls reminded me of my own family and things that I grew up with. I though it was very relatable to me. I also appreciated her inclusion of Spanish into her art. I though this added individuality to her work. I was able to read and understand what she wrote in Spanish and it made me think about how hard things in Spanish can be to translate into English. Not because there isn’t a word in English for it but because things in Spanish can have meaning that would need to be described with more than word to get the meaning in English. I like that I was able to grasp this in her work because I feel like there is a huge part that gets misinterpreted or misunderstood when trying to absorb it in English.