Coco Rico's Artist Statement:
The memories I have collected from my childhood experiences with family and friends help me create symbolic images. Objects in my work signify a person, a place, a time, or a situation that (I personally) have gone through. I have hidden in my prints “stories” deeply personal (to me) that shaped me into the person I am today.
My prints contain “some sort of vegetation”, which to refer back on my upbringing. My mother was born and raised in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico. My father born and raised in Capulin, Michoacan, Mexico. Both my parents have worked in agriculture for as long as I can remember. My (upbringing and Mexican) cultural background have lead me to experience a special, spiritual, unbreakable bond with my parents. They have shared their stories with me from when they first came to California in the 70’s (and listening to their struggles had opened my eyes to the amount of opportunities I have here in US).
In my lithographs (and drawings) I “transform” my stories into independent visual metaphors using birds, branches, and small (almost invisible) text. These repeated imageries are intended to give insight into my relationships, (especially with my mom) my unstable childhood, and emotional loving of animals.
As I (sit and) try to recall memories (from my past), I begin to trace back step by step how my relationship with others has affected me. My family members, neighbors, classmates, professors, co-workers and first worthy friendships are sources for my stories (and help create my world).
What would you like people to know about your artwork?
It’s personal, emotional, it’s a conversation.
What piece(s) in this exhibition are you most proud of and why?
Every piece is a work in progress; it’s a small part of a big story. Not one piece is better than the other; they compliment each other and are a representation of the person I am today.
What is it about lithography that particularly inspires you?
Lithography is a relationship. The visual outcome of each piece is the result of a give and take process. I cannot simply apply a brush onto paper or a pencil onto board but I have this “middle man” in whom I try to influence where I want my marks, textures and colors. Every layer may change and shift, but instead of stopping and starting over, I work with each outcome and make it work for the steps following. It’s a lot of work to complete a lithograph, but like every relationship, the beginning is my excitement.
Who do you consider your main artistic influences?
My artistic influences come from nature: animals, flowers, trees, greenery, nature’s shadows and changes of a season.
What other artists, both locally and abroad, inspire you?
Artists that I admire and have influenced my work are artists in which I have met and have formed friendships with: Laura Melancon (California), Christopher Wallace (Massachusetts), Juergen Strunck (Texas), Linda Lucia Santana (California) David Morrison (Indiana), Matthew Hopson-Walker (Alabama), Kristine Joy Malari (Mexico City), Dennis McNett (Pennsylvania).