The Puerto Rican people have never known true autonomy. Offered by Spain as tributary of the Spanish-American War in 1898, along with Guam and the Philippines, Puerto Rico has always belonged to someone else. This lack of self-determination has ingrained itself into Puerto Rican culture, boosting a national identity crisis that is at the root of the many socioeconomic problems that plague the island-nation’s history and have led to a mass emigration from its citizens to the United States.
   This developing series of mid-sized acrylic paintings focuses on what happens after this massive emigration. Through the portrayal of densely forested yet uninhabited scenes, this body of work asks what happens after the people have left, and how this exodus affects a culture and the people who so adamantly refuse to leave. These detailed, lush green openings generalize experiences through the scope of a reluctant migrator such as myself, placing an emphasis on how, through the laborious build up of these enclosed landscapes, one can recapture a fleeting sense of nostalgia.  
    This overarching theme acts as the driving force behind other facets of my work which, though varied and seemingly incongruous, find their origin in the same personal narrative. In this manner, acrylic representations of tiles, a series of family portraiture, abstract and functional works with wood, as well as more commercial-minded examples of illustration and design, whether directly or indirectly, all circle back to the same motif, the Puerto Rican condition.