Artist: Dolce Soledad Ibarra
Exhibition: Manos De Oro
Media: Projector, Found objects from broken lawn mowers, Her father’s tools
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist: Dolce is an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She is planning on graduating in the Spring of 2017 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture. Dolce grew up in Chino and began her college education at Chaffey College in order to start her general education classes and then eventually moved to CSULB. She grew a love for art when she got a job at a non-profit museum. She continued with that job for 5 years and worked on installing work, sculptures, and puppetry work. Most of her work consists of personal stories about her life.
Formal Analysis: When exploring the surrounding galleries, I became immediately attracted this particular gallery because of the music coming from it. Walking in you will notice straight ahead the project of a short documentary playing of Dolce’s father at work. All over the gallery were different pieces of lawn mowers and different tools used by him and his workers. The interesting thing was that the different pieces of tools were covered in a gold type of spray paint and it really made me curious as to why.
Content Analysis: Most of the gallery was based upon survivor’s guilt and the guilt that dolce has to live with being ashamed before of the type of job her dad had. Dolce has a guilty conscience because her father has such a demanding labor job and she feels it is a luxury that she is able to attend school and study something she wants which is art. She explained that her father suffers with guilt too because he wishes that his family was living in the states with him but instead they are out of state struggling with money. Dolce used to feel embarrassed because of the community she lived in when she was younger, she did not fit in with her other classmates and did not really talk about what her dad did for a living. The gold pieces represent a deeper connection between her and her father that they are both allergic to gold. She also incorporated gold into the pieces to elevate his work and show how beautiful it truly is.
Synthesis/My Experience: I think any person who has a family member that is or was an immigrant can relate to this. This connected with me very deeply because my grandparents and dad both came from Mexico illegally and are now citizens of the U.S. I remember hearing countless stories of the difficulties they had to go through to get to where they are today. I am extremely grateful for the work they have done to help me and give me the lifestyle that I have now. I became so emotional looking back and thinking about the true meaning of this gallery. This is definitely my favorite gallery I have seen so far and it is so touching. I appreciate Dolce so much for holding her father in such high regard because what he does truly is beautiful. This gallery has taught me to never be ashamed of where I come from and to appreciate and love my family and culture for what it is.