Rocio Cabrera’s Art Lets Black Girls Be Weird and Wonderful | Interview

ALLURE: I think of your style as reaching out to our inner child and the things we wanted to rock when we were younger, but combined with political statements. Like, “this can be cute,” and also, “fuck the police.”

RC: There was a part of me in college that was going back to “you need to be taken seriously,” and the things that I’m talking about in my art are very fucking serious. But it’s still me. Rainbows and stars and whatever the hell they are, they can still make as big of a statement. I don’t want to put myself in a box or feel like I’m making cutesy shit that doesn’t matter. It does matter to me how I’m expressing myself. I’m always gonna be fucking a little angry and pissed off [in my art] because of the product of me being a Black woman, just living here in America. That’s always going to be in the background.

Courtesy Rocio Cabrera

A lot of my creativity comes from a place of anxiety or depression. Or, like, really high highs. I can’t create when I’m just feeling super-fucking normal. When your creativity or your subject matter is coming from a dark place, you also have to find the energy, whether you’re inspired or not.

ALLURE: If money wasn’t an object, what would you have for Rocio Art?

RC: I feel like deep down inside I really like to stunt. I really like to spend money, and I’m trying to work on it, but there’s a rich woman trapped inside of me. So, aside from buying things for myself, I’d really like Rocio Art to be an empire. I’d love to make pink-rhinestone refrigerators, funky couches, and shag fucking wallpaper. I [have] imagined so many things and I’ve come to a place in my career where I need to start thinking [about the] bigger picture and making those steps.

ALLURE: The art world can often be very white and male-centered. As a Dominican American, and a woman, are you afraid that people will see your identity first and your art second?

RC: My last interview, I was asked how my intersectionality and my identity reflect through my pieces, and I had to sit there and come up with an answer. Being this Black girl is represented in my work, and it was like, “Yo, my work’s just about me. And it’s naturally going to include my identity — I can’t run away from that.” But that is not the thesis of my art. So it makes me question myself. It’s like, “Yo, are you even making anything of real value if you aren’t saying these grand things about everybody else who looks like you?”

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