El Amarillo Representa el Oro by Luis Vazquez La Roche

In my most recent body of works I have been researching and exploring the many aspects of my subjectivity. Failure and shame are always are the foundation of these works. The failure of the the transatlantic slave trade, the failure of putting these histories back together or the failure in the actions taken to create these works. On the other hand, shame comes along in many forms: the invisibility of afro descendants in Latin American and the Caribbean or existing as a black body.

I use specific materials to point toward certain histories or personal experiences. In this work I am covered in palm oil and gold glitter to speak about value and worth. Palm oil was used to cover bruises or marks that slave got right before they were sold. I also use glitter in a failed attempt to represent gold. Black bodies were considered a kind of capital around that time, we could be sold or traded as a commodity, but what is the worth of black bodies in modern times? Latin America and the Caribbean suffers from a collective amnesia where many if its afro descendants try to remain distant from their African roots or many believe that to be lighter or to bleach their skin is the definition of beauty.

These images are part of a video work called “El Amarillo Representa El Oro”, which is also alluding to the description of the yellow band in the Venezuelan flag. As a child we are told that the yellow represent the gold and the wealth of the land. Also, I cannot omit the remembrance my this work has with The Jab Molassie, but instead jumping around wildly I remain completely still, almost like a monument to be looked up to. – LV

Luis Vasquez La Roche was born and raised in Venezuela to a Trinidadian mother and a Chilean father. In 2002 his family migrated to Trinidad and Tobago. He graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.A. in Visual Arts and a minor in Spanish language. His has been actively producing and exhibiting work since 2009. His work has been exhibited in Trinidad, Grenada, Bahamas, Venezuela, Colombia, Scotland, Germany, and The Netherlands. He was selected to be part of the residency program OAZO AIR in The Netherlands in 2013 and Beta Local’s 2016 Itinerant Seminar in Puerto Rico. In 2013, he co-founded See You on Sunday, an artist collective committed to arts education. He lectures at The University of Trinidad and Tobago and is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University under a Fulbright Scholarship.