Lead Multimedia Lab Attendant and Art History major Paul Fosaaen donated a painting to the newly renovated multimedia lab, Jones 135, and it was recently hung. Here is an explanation of the piece from Paul:
Mi Casta Su Casta for me stands as a testament to the power of inclusiveness over bigotry and xenophobia. Painted initially as an assignment for class, the painting itself developed into a response against a tradition in Spanish painting that arose in the 17th and 18th centuries. Casta paintings served as an attempt for the Spanish aristocracy to retain 'purity' of Spanish blood during a time of expanded colonization of Mexico. These paintings documented potential racial and cultural mixtures, essentially to prove to the Spanish that they had retained racial and cultural supremacy over the indigenous people in their colonies. My use of abstraction in Mi Casta Su Casta is not merely to deny visible reality, but also it asserts a sense of unity to further reject the intensive pigeonholing that occurred in Spanish Casta paintings. When abstraction allows for the disappearance of racial divisiveness, it also permits us as viewers to dream of participating in this vision. Mi Casta Su Casta becomes more than just a rejection of historical misdeeds, but it is a family portrait in which we all belong. The title itself, a pun on the ubiquitous mi casa su casa, declares that 'your caste is my caste' and that 'my family is your family.' Instead of imposing segregation and highlighting pejorative differences, Mi Casta Su Casta extends an invitation to all families and all people so that we may all feel at home.
Mi Casta Su Casta 2011
Van Gauguin (Paul Fosaaen)
Acrylic on canvas