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Moody Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA
April 8, 2017 – May 13, 2017
Menina is a collection of works inspired by two rooms in my childhood home: the formal living and dining room. These rooms were decorated by my mother and filled with opulence and ornamentation; paintings of faux Dutch still life, gold tassels hanging from lamp shades, and pistachio green velvet pillows. Rarely used, the rooms became monuments to lavish events that never took place and a stage set for far away places utopic and unattainable.
My memory of girlhood is like these rooms. Surrounded by gendered customs of taciturn and decorum in hopes of something wonderful. The title of my exhibit, Menina, refers to Velasquez’ Las Meninas; a painting I first saw alongside my mother when I was still a child. I felt a connection with the Infanta and myself. We were both young girls surrounded, adorned, and imposed by a timeless aesthetic persistence: a non-confrontational beauty in the wake of a power we did not know we possessed.
– Debra Barrera, 2017