Citlatli: Cuando Eramos Sanos,

Debora Kueztpal Vasquez

Acrylic on canvas | Acrílico sobre tela
205.7 x 132 cm (81 X 52 in)
Collection of the artist | Colección del artista
Photo courtesy of Ansen Seale| Imagen cortesía de Ansen Seale

Artist’s Statement

My first educational experiences occurred while sitting around my Tia Mary’s red kitchen table surrounded by strong women who taught in the Indigenous manner of oral tradition. My first lesson in color and history I learned from my grandmother Mapi, who made piñatas. Ama Juanita, my maternal grandmother, died before I was born, but she left our family a great legacy: our language. With this legacy of language came the culture, the remedies, the massages, and the herbal teas our family continues to use in healing today.

Observing the Chicano Movement through the lens of a child has shaped my life, work, and the creation of my cartoon character, Citlali, La XicanX Anti-Hero. Citlali challenges social and political issues pertaining to womxn and Raza (people). 

My artistic concentration remains in exploring the perception of cultural hybridity. My research converges on three main foci: postmodern and global approaches to contemporary art; Indigenous, Chicanx and African spirituality concerning ecological balance; and Chicana feminist perspectives creating characters that exude tenacity through multi-generational relationships.