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    13 Latinx Artists Creating Impact Within Their Culture

    "It's about honoring all of the Latinx artists before me that paved the way."—Gabriel García Román

    BuzzFeed asked the following artists what it means to be a Latinx artist in today's society and how their work impacts them personally. Here are their respective responses.

    1. Destiny Mata, Photographer

    "In a sense, the camera has been an outlet for our creativity and our values — used to voice societal resistance and preservation of our cultural heritage."

    Destiny said that it has been therapeutic to look at the stories and photos she has taken, "helping to heal personal traumatic experiences and highlighting the resilience of the human spirit."

    2. Domsquiat, Photographer

    When asked what it means to be Latinx, Domsquiat said it's empowering "and gives me hope for the next generation of photographers."

    "Breaking family tradition is scary, but my art is deep-rooted in Latin American culture, symbolism, and history. So I never lose sight of where I come from."

    3. Gabriel García Román, Artist

    Gabriel believes that "the art world is finally taking notice of Latinx artists and our visibility is being heightened across galleries and museums."

    When asked how his work personally impacts him, Gabriel said, "My work has given me a platform to connect with community and to amplify our collective voices."

    4. Smurfoudirtynyc, Artist

    As the years go by, his culture is more important and significant to him. "It’s especially special that it’s through my mother's side. I enjoy being a proud man of color and Latino."

    "My work used to get old to me, but I’ve passed a threshold where now I have to draw even if I’m on the toilet. I’m consumed and content.”

    5. Adriana Parrilla, Photographer

    "I want my photographic work to serve as a tool with which our community can create a space for dialogue where they can feel proud of our identity."

    "It has impacted me positively because it allowed me to seek a more in-depth understanding of Blackness in the Latinx sociocultural and political context."

    6. Christian Rodriguez, Photographer

    Christian Rodriguez / thechristianrodriguez.com

    Between both the Dominican Republic and NYC, Christian said, "In a sense, it was a bubble of Caribbean, Central, and South American immigrants."

    "We were all existing between these lines of whiteness and trying to sort ourselves out and where we fit among our society."

    "I'm thankful because it opened my eyes to the responsibility I was given. For me, being a Latinx artist today is about the representation of us, our color, and our light."

    7. Laura, Photographer

    "It means that while we have the creative liberty to express our own narratives as we wish, we also hold the responsibility to alter stereotypes and misconceptions, and promote progressive ideologies such as the active inclusivity of Black and LGBTQ communities."

    When it comes to how her work impacts her, she said it has allowed her to have a deeper connection "with other Latinx women who resonate with my personal narrative and want to also move past what is traditionally expected of us."

    8. Joalis, Artist

    Joalis often references Nina Simone's quote that “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times,” saying, "I almost always use my art to do just that."

    "Whether it be for the celebration of our people and colors, or the painful truths that impale our communities, it needs to be told."

    9. Josh Pacheco, Photographer

    Josh Pacheco / Instagram: @joshpachecophotography / Via Joshpacheco.com

    For Josh Pacheco, he said there is a lot of complexity in calling himself a Latinx artist. Although he holds pride in his Latinx identity, "there’s also a lot of mystery in that I barely know the Latinx side of my family. So, I sometimes question myself if that pride is misplaced. Often, I’m asked to prove my ancestry or defend my art, but this is the first time I’m questioned about how these identities as a whole coexist. I’m not a Latinx artist; I’m a white Latinx artist. So I think critically of my place in society as a Latinx artist that benefits from whiteness. The intersectionality of my Latinx identity and my artistry, whether that artistry be my photography, dance/choreography, or painting, is not one specific point on a line, but rather a threshold."

    "Nor is my nuance so easily boxed without inflicting harm on a Brown/Black Latinx artist's identity."

    Josh concluded, "In the past, I had often sought social justice before racial justice and had not understood that those two things are one and the same."

    10. Jadie Meprivert, Artist

    Jadie feels she has a big responsibility in both keeping the heritage alive and finding new ways to “re-represent ourselves as we break down stereotypes and the very precepts and/or concepts that sought to keep us down."

    "In retrospect, my work focuses on the conceptualization of prophetic dreams. My paintings employ imagery, symbolism, and concepts related to the divine, to instinct, to human nature, and to what is seen and felt. "

    11. Angely, Designer and Owner of Diaspora New York

    She said it's about speaking differently at work versus at home. "It's to wake up each day knowing that you have to work twice as hard, not only for yourself but also for your mother, your father, your sister, and your family's sacrifices."

    For Angely, her inspiration to create her brand Diaspora New York comes from being a Latina from the African Diaspora.

    12. Diego Campos, Photographer

    "Living in different worlds while dealing with colorism all at the same time. A relentlessness to fight and make my voice loud and clear. Several moments of weakness and several moments of empowerment. Being a Latinx artist is all of those things and more."

    Diego felt that healing and reflecting (through his work) have resulted in him evolving as a person and spirit, thanking those that came before him and the world around him. He added, "I owe it to the world before us."

    13. Rebeca Soto, Artist

    Rebeca Soto / Instagram: @artbyrebeca

    Rebeca said it's about creating experiences that are joyful, while breaking traditions that are toxic.

    She added, "Especially being a Latina in the US — our cultural traditions and expectations are growing in completely new ways."

    She said utilizing her art to "normalize sex, pleasure, and the empowerment of brown womxn is [her] way of paving new Latinx traditions." She continued, "I feel like I have a responsibility to continue a culture of storytelling."

    Join BuzzFeed as we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and explore more content celebrating la cultura.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

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