Yanina Angelini Arismendi: “I Understand the Restorative Power that the Arts Hold”

Artist name: Yanina Angelini Arismendi

Featured Work 1: “Show Girls” #6, 2016, mixed media on canvas

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Yanina Angelini Arismendi is a fiercely creative, talented,  and inventive individual. This Uruguayan-born artist has produced and exhibited numerous works of 2-D, 3-D, and street-based art throughout the U.S., including a piece in the Amber Rose Foundation’s Slut Walk Gallery. Their paintings feature rich, layered, curving brushstrokes and they create personal, contemporary interpretations of feminine archetypes. As a founder and curator of Art Mart FXBG, they serve as a conduit and safe space for other makers, community collaborations, and cross-disciplinary experiments. They also participate in social justice advocacy, writing, photography projects, and other diverse creative activities.

Featured Works Slideshow:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art is a way to know, understand and love yourself and the world around you. Art is communication: an ongoing conversation that every human (and even animals!) can contribute to. Art is a way to reflect and self criticize.  As Nina Simone once said:

‘An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.’

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

While living in Lake of the Woods, Virginia, I focused on using natural resources available to me to make art. I learned to make inks out of berries, used large fall leaves for cutting stencils and growing and drying my own flowers for collages. My favorite thing to do back then and what garnered much attention from collectors was growing moss into anatomically correct imagery inside of custom built shadow boxes, on which I’d then layer with clear coat and dried pressed flowers I’ve grown in my garden.

After my nephew passed away I stopped making art and while on sabbatical I came across this Frida Kahlo quote: ‘I paint flowers so that they will not die.’ This moment felt like an epiphany and I was very sad for each glorious flower I lovingly grew and plucked out and pressed in the name of art. I resolved that if in my process of creating I destroy anything (besides outdated ideas that are harmful to our world) my work isn’t very strong and I need to re-think my approach.

3. What are you making now, and why?

For most of 2016, I worked on street art–both commissions and mural jams, which lead me to create a curated street arts festival in the City of Fredericksburg: Ready Set FXBG. Launching this event with my partner Justin Young has been the main focus for Spring 2017.

For the rest of winter, I will be preparing for a solo show opening May 5th at Adventure Brewing Co. in Virginia as well as launching some great apparel designs for a good cause via Vida.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

To continue growing as an artist alongside of my family, friends and allies. I want to grow my voice and platform to inspire the next generation of young artists and feminists to fight like girls!

Long term goal is to go back to my country: I lived in an extremely poor, guerilla torn neighborhood, the slums if you will. I dreamed as a child of cleaning up, planting food and painting it beautiful. As an adult I understand the restorative power that the arts hold and I cannot wait to bring down my energy and knowledge to directly change the landscape around me. I dream of opening an Art Complex, a place where arts from painting to cooking to music to urban farming can be practiced and taught to underprivileged kids like myself, I want to help raise the next generation of artists and creators. I also dream of becoming more politically involved within the Communist Party in Uruguay as an artist and writer.

5. What else would you like to say?

I am currently working on a street arts campaign to launch during inauguration day which I hope to expand to Philly, NYC and Texas throughout the year. I am also planning a performance art piece during The Women’s March on Washington: I will be marching, photographing the event and cosplaying as my online personal “Social Justice Senshi” an idealized version of myself as a sailor soldier from Sailor Moon’s universe that fights online trolls for love and social justice.

I hope to see you all there!

Artist Supplied Background:

Yanina Angelini Arismendi is a gender fluid Uruguayan born artist and activist  based in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Yanina curates shows throughout Virginia as well as weekly music shows and  monthly First Friday openings in their own gallery, DIY venue and safe space, Art Mart FXBG.
Yanina travels throughout the East coast during the summer to participate in mural jams and exhibitions and their winter months are spent studying art, painting commissioned works and new series. As Rodney Arismendi’s niece, Yanina continues their family’s legacy of supporting Communist ideals and carries out their ideology into action by supporting and leading such efforts as Food Is Free Project, Food Not Bombs, disaster relief drives and participating in marches, sit ins and non-violent protests for various social justice causes. Yanina gives talks and writes about Intersectional Feminism and Undocumented Immigrant issues for various online publications.

You can follow their work on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.

ladama

“La Dama Moderna” modeled and styled by Yanina and taken by Justin Young

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers
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