Peruvian multimedia artist Ana De Orbegoso has launched ‘Power Vests: Armors of Affirmations,’ a collaboration with NY graffiti artists addressing domestic violence. The new work, a series of vests made from various materials designed to be worn as both a political statement and emotional armour, launched for International Women’s Month across all of the participating artists’ social media platforms (see links below).
“In the same way that we dress with the intention to communicate something to the outer world, we must dress mentally with our own daily message that keeps us on track with our struggle,” explains De Orgeboso. “These vests, which contain writing on either side of the garment, remind us what we are fighting for, and put the world on notice. These textile sculptures are my ‘Power Vests’.”
‘Power Vests’ is part of a larger body of work entitled Feminist Projections, which is inspired by De Orbegoso’s participation in feminist marches. Moved by the powerful simplicity of the slogans being chanted to address the many reasons for protesting, she wanted to present these messages in new and unusual places. So she began creating roving art pop-ups bordering on performance art, projecting the slogans, along with photos from the marches and posters of women’s empowerment, onto the outside walls of city buildings and sidewalks. Then, in an act of appropriation of this material, she began projecting these images directly onto the faces and bodies of a broad range of women, and took their portraits of power.
“My subjects are a diverse group of women, of different races, social classes, professions, and interests,“ notes De Orbegoso. “All united by the same feelings – an intolerance for the epidemic of domestic violence and a dedication to the advancement of women’s rights. These are my Feminist Projections.”
For ‘Power Vests,’ De Orbegoso partnered with four renowned male graffiti artists in New York, each one representing the boroughs where they live, who want to send the message to their peers that domestic violence is entirely unacceptable. The work is now showing on the social media platforms of all four graffiti artists, along with two feminist LatinX artists who are modelling the work, and the arts organizations supporting the project
- Puerto Rican artist Sen2 Figueroa (Bronx), wearing his own vest.
- Hoacs (Brooklyn), vest worn by latinx performer Arantxa Araujo.
- Gusto NYC (Queens), vest worn by latinx performer Cuquita the Cuban doll.
- Sen1 (Manhattan), vest worn by an undercover bomber.
- New Latinx Art Collective
- Rofa Projects
- Ana De Orbegoso
In the future, this series will develop to depict women wearing their “power vests” while going through their daily lives. “I envision this project as a collaboration with artists from different media,” explains De Orbegoso, declaring “As artists we need to come together, to unite around our struggles. We want to include this sorority in our daily discourse.”
More about Ana De Orbegoso
Ana De Orbegoso is a Peruvian born American interdisciplinary artist, with both European and Indigenous roots, currently residing in New York. Her work centers on questions of gender and identity. She explores this theme on individual, gender and societal levels, mostly using familiar iconography and historical or political symbols. By generating installations and social activism that induce the audience to connect, her aim is to confront the viewer with a mirror, so as to spark recognition, thought and memory. De Orbegoso’s techniques include photography, video, video games, sculptures, wearable art, street art, multimedia productions and whatever is needed to convey the concept.