Profundo

February 7, 2022 - May 13, 2022
Karl and Helen Burger Gallery
Image
Tamara Torres Self Portrait

About the Exhibition

Profundo is a multimedia body of artwork about the feminist upsurge happening within Puerto Rican communities by Tamara Torres. Torres’ collaged photographs of Puerto Rican women take the viewer through an emotional journey where women fight against inequality, domestic violence, rape culture and injustice.

Spending her early life in an unstable home with an alcoholic father and later finding herself in an abusive marriage, Torres, through the power of feminism, purpose and self-acceptance as LatinaX, became liberated and self-aware. The simple definition of a feminist is the advocacy of women's rights based on the equality of the sexes. The definition of feminism for LatinaX is more complicated because of cultural traditions.

Challenging the cultural acceptance of domestic violence within the Puerto Rican community is creating a new "Me Too" wave. Profundo brings forth the voices of women to replace the traditional male perspective, becoming the epitome of "La Feminista" and resulting in a deep conversation on gender roles, values, personal strength and perseverance.

Selected Works

About the Artist

Tamara Torres was born into poverty in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1978, of Puerto Rican and Taino ancestry. Encountering art books in the public library, she found an escape from her life on the streets. At age 13, Torres was introduced to her first camera through an acquaintance working at a one-hour photo store. Her photographs evolved over time into collages of images, text, symbols and abstract-painted backdrops created by Torres.

Known for her abstract paintings that reflect complicated emotional landscapes navigated by her signature "shadow men," Torres shares her world through the creation of works that embody her Afro-Latina ancestry and life experiences.

In every artwork she creates, Torres' creative process begins with a concept from childhood memories, music or current events. Art has offered her a way to heal and stand up against being a victim of circumstance.

Torres’ inspiration comes from the energy of her photographs, the trumpet sounds of Miles Davis, the writings of James Baldwin, the declarations of Victoria Santa Cruz and the stories of the unknown heroes who have saved her life.

For Torres, her abstract paintings have a religious connection and often represent a cry for mental sanctuary against the darkness that arises from unwelcome encounters.

Torres is one of only a few Latina artists who pursue abstract art and she values the support of important mentors. She has exhibited her art in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, London, Edinburgh and Rome.

In the Press

Observers in real time, inside the recently opened BSB Gallery where Torres’ art displays, could see Torres wade into that cold-water abyss, familiar liquid, dark, deep and despair-filled.
- L.A. Parker, Trentonian 
Her most famous pieces have that melancholy component that was gestating in her eyes when she was 12 years old, and that, through her collages, tell her stories.
- Yamily Habib, BE Latina
In taking each portrait and video of the models, Torres poses the question of: "What does feminism mean to you?"
- - Tory Richardson, MCCC