Yvette Mayorga is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist working in installation, painting and sculpture. Her work links the feminized labor and aesthetics of celebration to colonial art history and racialized oppression through the guise of using pink as a weapon of mass destruction. Utilizing a meticulous and laborious painting process of pink confectionary piping and industrial materials, she recalls her family’s labor in meatpacking, baking, construction, candy, and craft to examine how uncertainty is cloaked with a veneer of celebration.
Mayorga manufactures intricate, multisensorial, and surrealist piped worlds that respond to utopian tricked out visions of immigration and belonging. Confronting the historically “dainty” and feminine associations to the color pink, these narratives intervene in art history and take form in her work through a fusion of Rococo iconography, toys, contemporary images of militarization, confectionary aesthetics, and consumer objects to evoke the pleasure of looking. The sumptuous, excessive, and gilded decoration that marks her projects is inspired by the domestic and colonial religious spaces she navigated transnationally as an adolescent. In addressing the broad effects of surveillance within and beyond borders, her practice transforms Rococo aesthetics to interrogate the meaning of “status” as a question of both class and citizenship.
Shaped by her experience as a first-generation Latinx artist and her parents’ migration from Jalisco, Mexico to the US, her work generates new iconographies that document her personal communities and take up space in sites of cultural value. Mayorga’s visual lexicon of resignified Candy Lands adorned with acrylic nails, faux eyelashes, food, nikes, car gear, slides and toys provokes encounters with the dehumanizing fantasies of the American Dream.