16 Mar Art as activism — Artist Profile of Tamara Torres
Visual activist Tamara Torres is a native of Trenton, New Jersey and a citizen of the world. In her youth she survived abuse, discrimination and homelessness, and her art gives a voice to disadvantaged and disenfranchised women across the globe. Torres’ photography and photo-based art is unflinching, yet uplifting, intended to inspire women to create a revolution and build a better world. Her art has been exhibited in New York, London and Rome. Torres is of Puerto Rican descent and is part Taino Indian. Through her art and her activism, she seeks to counter misconceptions of Latino citizens and immigrants in America. Torres currently resides in Trenton with her son and daughter.
The below text is lightly edited from an email conversation with the artist.
What inspires your work and how does your artistic output relate to your own worldview?
My artwork takes a critical view of social and political matters, especially women’s rights. In my work I portray the strength, beauty, and courage of women, and deconstruct the vital but often unequal role that women have in societies around the world. Art saved my life. As a young child I endured homelessness and sexual and physical abuse. My art draws on my personal story of endurance and triumph. My mission is change, change that begins with the viewer.
Which techniques do you favour as an artist and what impact do you wish your works to have on the viewer?
Combining the techniques of collage, street photography and painting, I create each piece individually to form a unique artwork. If I can change the views of one person with the work that I’ve created created, then my work as an artist is done.
Where in the world would you most like to exhibit?
There are so many places where I would love to exhibit my work that it’s impossible for me to pick just one country or city. However I know I have to make it to the MOMA. I have to become part of history because more than anything I need to let the young girls in my community know that nothing can stop you if you are willing. I am beyond humbled by all the opportunities that I have been exposed to thanks to my artwork.
How have you found your experience working with WITP, and how will it help you as an artist in the future?
One of the reasons that I love WITP is because it embraces art from different cultures and different people. It brings awareness to the fact that art is not about how many likes we get on social media or who is selling the most, but about bringing artists together who want to create change with their work. I am proud to be one of those artists and part of WITP.
Torres recently wrapped up an exhibition at Flyer Art Gallery in Rome. You can find out more about her work on her Facebook Page.