Thesis 2024 / Victor L. Sánchez | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Thesis 2024 / Victor L. Sánchez

Image of Victor's thesis installation in the Morrison Building. Included are sculptures that are in part made of wood, paper, and charcoal. There is a grey and red painting on the far wall.

I’m a citizen of the United States of America, a country with a legacy shaped by an aggressive sense of exceptionalism, white supremacy, imperialism, colonialism, and cisheteropatriarchy. There is a culture of punitive violence, hate, and cancellation inflicted upon the original inhabitants, and presently, onto vulnerable, marginalized BIPOC peoples, such as myself. 

My investigation is how colonialism capitalizes, plunders, appropriates, commodifies, and then sets the marketplace of traditions, standards, and self-identity. With this in mind, along with the pressures of being a colonized individual, I make material choices that deliver a historical connection to the stories I’m interested in telling, and to unlearning a binary, colonial, cisheteropatriarchal, imperialistic, punitive mindset. 

Material is important in the narrative of my work. For example, the selection of common house paint, the process, the social connection, and the procedures associated with that labor, help me connect to the work of the painter. As a gardener, I sustainably collect my own wood to make charcoal. The process to produce the charcoal I use in my work takes weeks. The mark of charcoal is a deliberate metaphor for the Black body in beauty, life, death and the transportation in water, continentally and spiritually.

The automata represent action, mechanization, abstraction, and the invasion of industrialization. They are also there to give the audience the opportunity to engage as actors in the plight of the Black body as agents of ease or turmoil. Performative action is a substitute for transformative action, taken only to bolster one's external image to build social capital. As an artist I’m interested in my liberation, transformation and in exposing performativism. 

Finally, In the Iliad and the Odyssey Homer wrote of “Ships upon wine-dark seas.” 

I’m inclined to believe that Homer speaks poetically of tumultuous strife and the tempestuous conflict that exists between humans and the gods. Intrigued by Homer, I employed the metaphor in my painting to reflect the sentiment of U.S. imperial presence in the Caribbean Sea.

Instagram: @ latino.artist.victor

  • Victor L. Sánchez
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    MFA Thesis 2024