I had the pleasure of meeting Veronica Longoria at the monthly Open Studios JoMar Visions hold (every third Saturday of the month) while she was painting a portrait on a woven canvas. I picked up a card from Longoria that had a small portion of, “Different Shades of Me” (2012), it sat on my desk and every time that I saw it I had to take a closer look; so I decided to reach out to Longoria for a phone interview about a week later. The following is a result of binging on the B-52s and Lila Downs (as per recommendations of Longoria) to gather the pieces of our conversation.
When I visited her website, I was able to view “Different Shades of Me”(2012) in all of its grandeur and what really impressed me (and transported me back to Scarborough’s Art History class) was the modernization of the diptych. This painting spans two canvases and to my surprise the portion that I received on her business card was the first subject and would lead me to a trove of symbolism.
The pieces “Different Shades of Me” (2012) and “Seven Years Broken” (2014) were our main discussion points. They showcase stylistic choices of a female subject and nature motifs depicting the women as both vulnerable and reflective, able to garner insights through their connection with nature and themselves. The perceived vulnerability comes in the form of exposed organs or flesh, but the intentional exposure peels back a layer and allows them to share their experiences, concerns and personal needs. The nature motifs are laced throughout the above pieces and can be seen in “Rebirth” (2013) and “Paloma Negra” (2013). The use of nature grounds these paintings, never overwhelming the subject, but instead as a source and articulation of her artistic motivation.
A recurring theme in the paintings named are that they are bursting with symbolism, each time you look at them you are able to recognize another image that was hidden. The concealed symbols can be attributed to Longoria’s use of patterns, which is concise and rhythmic, having a purposeful flow across the canvas. They lend themselves to the subject as tools of expression, not as filler or a superfluous distraction.
Another method Longoria utilized to highlight her artistic guides was in her homage to Frida Kahlo in “Portrait of Frida Kahlo” (2016) incorporating “Different Shades of Me” (2012) and “Seven Years Broken” (2014) into Frida’s shawl to credit Kahlo as an inspiration. This interweaving of old work with current work creates a progression through her timeline as an artist, hidden in plain sight.
Veronica Longoria, a Houston transplant born in McAllen, TX, went to the Art Institute of Houston to receive a degree in 3D Animation in 2010. She now works in the energy industry as a marketing communications specialist and keeps herself busy with her art, career and her daughter who is now playing Varsity Softball. You can catch her June 9th at the Pancake & Booze Show and Murder of Crows at Rockefeller Houston on June 10th.
Check out more of her work at her website.
Her instagram @v.roc_studios
This is Part 1 of a 3-part Artist profile of Veronica Longoria.
Part 2 : Seven Years Broken (Coming April 29)
Part 3 : Different Shades of Me (Coming April 30)