WANDA FRAGA SANCHEZ DE LA
How did you start to be a visual artist?
I've always had a special interest in the processes of the human mind and a recurrent need to understand my life and personality. After studying Psychology, I realized that it should be shared with other people. Others, like me, who also need to understand and find themselves; then it became obvious to me that the best way to do it was through art.
How would you describe your style?
The recurring technique in most of my work is collage. This is the result of many factors that start from the same culture of my country, Cuba, as this was the place where I have spent most of my life. Cuba, itself, is a collage of different cultures, races, and influences. As for the use of color, this is closely related to my personality and my moods; although on some occasions, I manipulate them consciously to support and emphasize the concepts and themes that I manage.
What are the themes you explore when it comes to your work? Would you say that your work is deeply personal, research-based, political, and/or cultural?
My work is closely linked to my personal life, so the loneliness and the feeling of abandonment, which have been the major feelings in my life, are present in my work. Fragments of memories, people, situations, and objects, are the basis of my art. At the end of the day, these are memories of a personal past but at one point, converge in a collective past that we all share.
What inspires and motivates you as an artist? Do other artists influence your work?
Personally, the work of Joseph Beuys is always a great source of questions in my mind, which then always translate into creative ideas. Sometimes, the most unsuspected and common situations or elements can lead me to create. Always in every element of daily life, there is something hidden and subjective, which leads us to question aspects of our own reality.
What has your practice taught you about yourself?
My artistic work has helped me to reinterpret and revive many of my life experiences. It helped me understand the how's and why's of many situations. It has helped me to know myself more at the same time. For me, art has been a kind of identity therapy.
Do you do any research prior to creating an artwork? What is your creative process?
There is no specific methodology when I am working or creating something. However, if there is a constant research on subjects of psychological, anthropological, philosophy, literature; I know that eventually, they will promote in my new ideas and concepts to develop that I need to develop.
What is the piece you are most proud of?
There is a special piece called "Us" (Nosotros), which is my favorite piece. It is a representation of what I experienced as a Cuban citizen. Of all the frustration and pain of people, of ideological concepts imposed since I was young.All this summarized in a single image, minimalist visuality; where all the town is erased and only the flag is seen; "Homeland, or Death!"; the homeland, the island, the Revolution, are the protagonists, no longer the people. Man does not exist; it is only a mass of color: white, empty, unimportant.