Alisa Henriquez was born in Kingston, Jamaica and first studied art at Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, studied painting at Yale Summer School of Music and Art and earned her MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Her work has been exhibited at venues nationally and internationally, including A.I.R. Gallery and Painting Center in New York, Wayne State University in Detroit, Rochester Institute of Technology, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Rhode Island School of Design, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, University of Maine Art Museum, Northwestern University, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Purdue University, and Buschlen Mowatt Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Most recently her work was featured in Border Crossings, an international publication dedicated to contemporary art. Henriquez is currently a Professor of Studio Art at Michigan State University.
My recent assemblages combine digital images drawn from popular media culture, art history, and autobiographical sources with a host of materials including paint, resin, glitter, and synthetic hair and fur.
Recurring motifs such as heavily mascaraed eyes, glossed lips, hair, and images of the body tap on encoded meanings and myths, conjuring ideas of female fertility, sexuality, and desire, albeit through an often media biased lens. At the same time, materials like glitter and paint alternatively function as acts of adornment or defacement when juxtaposed with photo-based imagery.
Whether positioned in the same space or fragmented across multiple panels, these sources inspire a conversation that is as important as their individual material and media born identities. Both, the act of piecing together many views and the fracturing of an image establishes a sense of visual slippage and mutability, calling into question the very idea of the singular, authoratative image.The result are works that I hope capture the ongoing internal negotiation with media fragments and societal constructions of identity and beauty. Ultimately, one might even say, the subject of the work becomes, not the individual images or their juxtaposition, but the act of looking and the constant figuring and problematizing of our relationship to these sources and the continual state of makeover culture they represent.