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Life on the Hyphen, 2018

Title after Gustavo Pérez-Firmat

Four studies of landscapes in Maravatío on Canadian-themed upholstery fabrics

Acrylic, fabric, board, rabbit skin glue, gesso

4 large paintings 18”x18”; 4 small paintings: 5”x7”

Produced at Guapamacátaro Residency, Maravatío, State of Michoacán, Mexico

Four texts that inspired the series:

1.   A bridge allows transit between places much as the dash in ‘bi-cultural’ connects cultures. Gustavo Pérez-Firmat

2.   The name "America" as a continent was a European invention, as was the word "Latin" in Latin America. Walter Mignolo

3.   It is on the border between differences where the most creative forms of cultural identity are produced. Homi Bhabha

4.    Gerardo Mosquera adopted the term "glocal" to refer to the blending of the global with the local. 


The shift towards global de-centralisation has resulted in a polymorphic view of identity. This shift has been referred to by Cuban-American writer Gustavo Pérez Firmat as “life on the hyphen”: much as a bridge allows transit between locations, that small dash between words connects cultural concepts. The hyphen symbolises increased dialogue and interaction between people and places. For some, it fuses two or more locations, while for others, it symbolises differences or borders, and yet possibilities for future opportunity. Pérez Firmat’s book is not about assimilation or opposition; it is about two cultures talking to each other.

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