“Ni Aquí Ni Allá / Not Here or There” painting and drawing series
My latest series titled “Ni Aquí Ni Allá / Not Here or There”, is the first chapter of a body of work that uses as a starting point desert landscapes and conflicted spaces. There is an underlying violence: people are being chased down, something or someone is being smuggled, guns are being fired. The characters could be drug dealers, smugglers, tourists, border patrols, border crossers, soldiers, or minutemen, but they are missing, leaving their cars and other objects to speak for them. Added to this cast of characters is my love of landscape and visual play, which allows me to inject a sense of humor and the absurd into these worlds.
I am inspired by fictional writers such as Salman Rushdie, Haruki Murakami, Jose Saramago, and Italo Calvino that create fictional worlds interlaced with contemporary social concerns. Added to this are various websites that track ever changing phenomena that impact our social space: the American Border Patrol, vigilante groups, storm watchers, soldiers’ blogs, monster trucks, and the nightly news.
In my work I blend these sources and familiar objects with open ended narratives that give the viewer a comfortable starting point to develop the sequence of events that most reflects their views and ideas. What might look like an illegal episode to some might be a friendly encounter to others, thereby allowing us to explore our biases.
Artist Bio / CV
Juanita Meneses was born was in Caracas, Venezuela and spent her formative years in Bogotá, Colombia. Her innate curiosity has taken her to India, Korea, Japan, Spain, Argentina and many other places around the world. Her work has to do with invasion, destruction and politics and how these forces are shaping our landscapes and lives today.
She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in May of 2006 and her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998.
She has exhibited in Lisbon, Madrid, Bogotá, Miami, New York, Chicago, and in Los Angeles.