Yvette Mayorga’s distinctive visual style of installation uses frosting—or acrylic that is piped to give the appearance of frosting—to build lands of confection populated with personal objects. “Pastillage,” her solo show at Roman Susan, includes elements that have become a part of her signature: a “Hello Kitty” color palette, garlands of petals and leaves piped directly onto the walls and luxury branding (sometimes literally, as in the case of a Nike swoosh marked on a bare bum).
In past installations, Mayorga’s frosting made stark the difference between the perception of American prosperity and the reality of violent policing of immigrants at the border. “Pastillage” continues to explore the American Dream as her works dramatize excess and question access. Gendered colors, labor and signifiers of luxury are pushed to their most luscious and vivid extreme as a way to undermine the oppressive structures that created them. The show also continues her consideration of the formation of Mexican-American identities, but new works complicate past ideas on self-creation and agency.
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