Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.

I am Cristina Cordova, a figurative ceramic sculptor from Puerto Rico. Drawing inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and my narratives, I strive to capture the essence of the human form and convey a sense of raw vulnerability in my sculptures. Using clay as my primary medium, I combine slab and solid construction techniques with different surface treatments to express my artistic vision. My creative process is deeply introspective and often preceded by a period of research, sketching, and experimentation. I am constantly exploring new ways to push the boundaries of ceramic sculpture, incorporating elements of mixed media, and playing with scale, and light to enhance the narrative and create a multi-dimensional experience for the viewer. Through my work, I aim to spark dialogue and foster a connection with the audience, inviting them to reflect on their own experiences and engage with the universal themes of identity, memory, and the human condition.

Christina is wearing our CHARMING skirt

Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?

As a woman artist, I have had to balance my artistic practice with the challenges of caring for my daughters while managing a household. Those responsibilities can affect my ability to devote time and energy to my art, so cultivating a work-life balance and safeguarding my creative pursuits are vital. My work is also enriched by the unique perspective and voice I bring as a woman artist. Themes of femininity, identity, and empowerment have been explored in my art, creating a platform for dialogue and change.

Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?

An artist who inspires me is Vanessa Beecroft because of her unique approach to blending performance art and visual installations. One aspect of Beecroft's artistry that truly resonates with me is her exploration of the human body and its relationship to space. Through her performances, she often presents large groups of models, meticulously arranged, and posed in various settings, creating a living tableau that blurs the lines between art and reality. This dynamic interplay between the human form, the surrounding environment, and the audience creates a powerful visual experience that challenges traditional notions of art and aesthetics. Another reason why Beecroft inspires me is her fearlessness in addressing complex social issues through her work. She often confronts themes such as gender, identity, race, and beauty standards, using her art as a platform for commentary and discussion. By employing a diverse range of models and incorporating provocative imagery, Beecroft challenges societal norms and prompts viewers to question their prejudices and preconceived notions.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?

The most challenging aspect of being a female artist has been balancing work with home life. Navigating and overcoming the demands of parenting and being the primary keeper of the domestic realm, place additional constraints on time, resources, and energy available for artistic practice, leading to a complex dance of fragmented sprints and multi-layered calendars. In recent years, as my children have grown, and my work has increased in scale one of my biggest challenges has also been understanding the limits of my body as it relates to the production and handling of larger work.

What would you like people to notice in your artwork?

 I would like for people to notice the subtleties of gestural language and compounded metaphor. I would like people to recognize the unique fusion of traditional and contemporary elements in my ceramic sculptures. While drawing inspiration from Puerto Rico's cultural heritage, I also incorporate modern techniques, aesthetics, and personal interpretations. By blending the traditional with the current, I strive to create artwork that is both rooted in the past and relevant to today's artistic landscape. Additionally, I would like people to connect with the humble materiality of the clay, with the rich language of color and texture comprised of earth materials and shaped in the same way they have been for thousands of years.

Christina is wearing our EXPLAIN top