Alejandra Morales Garza (b. Monterrey, 1993) is a visual artist working mostly in oil and acrylic. She received her BA in 2016 from McGill University and is currently completing her MFA at the University of British Columbia. She has had multiple art shows at galleries, museums, and alternative spaces. Her artwork has been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Spain.
I paint scenes typically associated with femininity, tenderness, and fragility. I create fantastical worlds that are distorted and baroque while remaining comforting and aesthetic. The humourous and ironic undertones to many of my works have led some to refer to it as being kitsch. However, I believe the excessive use of ornamentation can be seen as reflective of life’s negations: clichés that have lost their innocence without spreading wisdom.
Through my paintings, I work to retread and reinterpret the realm of nature, which has been traditionally linked to the feminine experience due to its associations with procreation and the presence of vital cycles. My artwork, which is labour-intensive and uses “feminine techniques” such as pastel colours and bright pink, as well as decorative elements, subverts what has been historically deemed as “lesser” art based on gender associations. My paintings, baroque and beautiful to the point of being grotesque, serve as a reminder that the perfect ideals that we are brought up to aspire to are, in the end, a fiction.
How does the theme ‘Biosphere’ play a role in your work?
I constantly portray different aspects of biosphere in my work. I typically combine hyperrealistic representations of nature, often flowers, with more fantastical elements, such as bright pink or purple backgrounds. By contrasting soothing elements found in nature against colours that can be considered more “artificial” or camp, I explore some of the contradictions and hypocrisies inherent in society.
As a woman and as a latina, I grew up with a very clear idea of what was expected of me. This narrow, even asphyxiating vision of success—marrying a provider husband and being a child bearer—is one that I find both repellent and fascinating. Beyond making art that is patronizing or that makes overly general assumptions, I prefer to reflect on the contradictions that we carry with us based on what we are expected to aspire to, what we actually want, and how we present ourselves in society.
I see my paintings as other worlds, full of colours and detail, combining fantasy with reality. I consider these baroque compositions to be analogous to that perfect ideal of a housewife and a mother that we are often expected to desire and portray in Latin America.