In this episode of the podcast, Tiffany Alfonseca and Kat chat about how she got into painting and what inspires her, including the drawings she made during the lockdown.
Tiffany talks about her work, which focuses on Afro-Latinx diasporic culture.
We also talked about Tiffany's hopes for the future as she finishes her education and what she hopes to experience in terms of diversity and inclusion in the art world. Tiffany is a Dominican-American mixed medium that creates vibrant and colorful artworks to celebrate her culture.
Tiffany Alfonseca (b. 1994) is a Bronx- based Dominican-American mixed media artist who creates vibrant and colorful artworks that celebrates Black and Afro-Latinx diasporic culture. Alfonseca continuously taps into her Afro-Dominican roots and leverages it as a conceptual cantilever that provides a dynamic framework for her artistic practice. Moreover, her work aims to visually articulate that the Black and Afro-Latinx diaspora does not exist within a monolith, but that these communities are a cultural cornucopia that is vast, varied, and complex. Alfonseca’s artwork is an intricate combination of beauty, diversity, and multilingualism that exemplifies the strength of the Black and Afro-Latinx diaspora.
Alfonseca primarily employs the act of painting and drawing as her artistic weapons of choice. She situates her subjects within bold and picturesque settings in an active pursuit of opportunities that explore the nuances of the communities in which she is immersed in. Through immersion and rumination, Alfonseca utilizes these experiences as reference material within her work as she toils to construct new narratives and build a universe that is reflective of her upbringing as a Dominican-American woman in the Bronx. These narratives harken towards dialogue about womanhood, colorism, class, family, ritual, and memory; all of which are building blocks in her creation of an ontological framework that is responsive to how she sees and experiences the world.
Alfonseca’s approach to artmaking is catalyzed by her desire to tussle with W.E.B. DuBois’ philosophy of “double consciousness” in order to illustrate that containing multitudes is part of what makes Black and Brown communities and their experiences unique. While analyzing questions of identity and race, Alfonseca depicts subjects that are strong, graceful, and exuding agency in a world that wants to deny their existence. Her work honors the humanity of the Black and Afro-Latinx experience in a way that is declarative and reassuring. When you consider a history where Black and Brown bodies are constantly on guard, Alfonseca work serves as a safe space teeming with beauty and joy.