Dominique Flores is a Latinx artist of Mexican American and Puerto Rican heritage that currently resides in Donna, Texas. Their current focus of their work explores the obscurity of location and their disconnection of physical home life through the fixation of materiality.The use of ceramics as the focused medium helps to explore the fixation of creating identifiable novelties and distort them through the use of different glaze surfaces.They have received their B.F.A in Studio Art from University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley with an emphasis in Ceramics. They completed an internship at the International Museum of Art and Science working with the curatorial department in databases. During their undergrad, they have worked alongside UTRGV’s Ceramic Organization as Secretary organizing virtual workshops and sharing resources to educate and elevate newcomers in the Ceramic Arts. They have recently participated in the Chautauqua Visual Art Summer Artist-in-Residence program during their 5 week summer session.
My work explores the connectivity of miscellaneous objects and how they reflect on human existence, lost memories, and cultural identities. My interest in these subjects appeared as I became more nostalgic of my past and curious of the whereabouts of toys and novelties I once had. I’m interested in the idea of trivial objects that we see as meaningless or insignificant through the passing of time, but we simultaneously and subconsciously create attachments to them. The ceramic sculptures I create reflect objects that trigger feelings of nostalgia in me; longing to relive that moment when these objects were once present in my life and solidify these fading memories. Nostalgia through childhood novelties has always been a form of escapism for me and this has become the basis of my work. This work allows me to go in-depth in my past and reconcile the disconnection of my double heritage and create conversations of recollections of one’s history and how we can find ways to keep these archeological discoveries alive.
I use clay to capture the likeness of these objects, but not entirely replicate them. Instead, I embrace the warped walls and the inaccurate proportions. These choices express the idea of wanting to accurately remember what it once looked like and inevitably forgetting details as time passes. These sculptures are fired and glazed loosely to resemble the original object. I use underglazes close enough to match the color of original objects, but I add patina to cover and mute the colors to create a sense of oldness and decaying feel to the pieces.
I rely on revisiting old albums, searching for old toys, and journaling my thoughts on childhood to help make decisions of what I want to recreate. Inspiration comes from toys, foods, childhood snacks, cartoons, pop culture, and personal experiences. This is my current subject matter because I’m interested in making a connection between my attachment to them and the underlying cultural significance that has brought upon me.
My goal in this body of work is to create my own puzzle map of curated historical artifacts of the mundane life here on earth. I continue to document my research by familiarizing myself with my surroundings. I take quick pictures of discarded personal items. Items varied from clothes, furniture, many toys, and childhood memorabilia lost in the trash, in the middle of the road, and even just by a neighbor's lawn. I reflect on how long it will take for these lost items to be picked up or be gone forever. If they are picked, where will they go? How long will it take to break down into nothingness, or will it stay as is and continue to tarnish and sun bleach ‘til there’s not a hint of its original color is there.