Survival Mode

Project Details

Acrylic, Oil, Acrylic Glass

Size: 36" x 48"

This painting is the piece that resonated with me the most. It was my final project during my time at San Diego State University, and our professor instructed us to create a painting that resembled something about ourselves. The only limit we had was that there had to be paint of some sort in the medium, and we had to use one nontraditional material. The image I created is a portrait of myself trying to break through a glass ceiling, which in this case is the whole frame. As this is happening, I am physically deteriorating from my several open wounds.

Survival Mode is the physical representation of how I feel as an immigrant woman who is trying to create success in a career field where most believe it is near impossible to find it. It is also a validation of the feeling of always having to choose between pleasing someone else, or making yourself happy. Living in this state of survival ensures that these frustrations fuel me to break my own glass ceiling and find a future where I can be happy being myself, hence the presence of anxiety and determination in the face of the subject. The physical mirrors urge the audience to ask themselves what their part was in this situation.

This painting relied heavily on composition as the original plans for it required lots of details that could have easily made the piece a headache readability-wise. In which case, it was necessary for me to ensure all of its basic components were on the canvas before I added any extra details that could easily become overbearing. The work turned out to be much simpler in the long run, but I believe rightfully so. 

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