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Container #4 by Joiri Minaya


Photo: DePaul Art Museum, A Natural Turn, resources.depaul.edu

I was lured by the bright, plant and nature filled colors of Joiri Minaya's Container #4 in the DePaul Art Museum, the fourth of seven pieces where the artist poses in head-to-toe bodysuits with tropical nature prints to merge her whole body into the landscape. In Container #4, Minaya poses in a face-covering cut out of her bodysuit against a garden of lilac-colored hydrangeas and looks at the audience through holes cut out of her bodysuit for her eyes. She is lying down and fully covered in a colorful flower pattern. Behind her, the lush green plants in the back are meticulously arranged.

A description of Minaya's work from Artsy states that she searched for images of "Dominican women" on Google. The women in her series mimic the poses of women from the search results and the bodysuits they wear are sewn to conform to those poses and positions, almost as if they are stuffed, as a way to subvert the stereotypes of Latina women by inhabiting them. The plants in the nature pattern on the bodysuit are not realistic and nothing like real life, similar to how Latina women are viewed and objectified. Minaya's visually alluring Containers encourages the viewer to explore this theme and prompted me to think about how Latina women are inaccurately and unfairly portrayed in the media and hypersexualized, hot-tempered, and voluptuous, such as the characters of Gloria played by Sofia Vergara in the television show Modern Family and Catalina in the video game GTA (Grand Theft Auto).


Gloria from Modern Family

Catalina from GTA

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