Sandra Trujillo

I was thinking about the rise of political power when I designed these figures.  I suppose that any title about an ancient Egyptian god couldn’t be anything but a conversation alluding to political power.  In this case, the potential danger of Trump politics was on my mind and entirely informed the direction of the work.   
Finding the right shape, scale, and overall design for the figures came together in the process of working with the clay itself.  I was searching for simplicity and abstraction to easily communicate the idea of signals and danger.

Stories: a Collaboration between Curtis Stewardson and Sandra Trujillo

This collaboration was in response to an invitation to work within the Portuguese tradition of storytelling: bonecos.  Bonecos are popular figurative clay vignettes describing rural activities from the Alentejo region, specifically Estremoz, Portugal.   Our stateside collaboration began with the idea of this tradition, but quickly ran headlong into the path of parody with the undoing and reworking of familiar stories.     
Our ceramic vignettes are intended to be small stage sets.  We populated each scene with gestural studies in black, miniature theatrical props and severe architectural elements.  Corners, planes, edges and a soup of myth, magic, and inter-generational figures function to tell stories of how Art reflects experiences and inspires imagination.


Echoes of de Chirico: Collaboration between Curtis Stewardson and Sandra Trujillo.

This collaboration began during an artist-in-residence at OBRAS Foundation in Portugal.  Our aim was dinnerware -  “table for two”, but It was clear from the mid-point that our project was destined to become something other than traditional dinnerware. The forms that Curtis made were tangential to service and the imagery I developed was for cartoons.  My job then was to learn to render something stable within the idea of failing architecture.  I think in hindsight, the surrealistic styled images and complex ceramic form revealed something to both of us: that every dynamic shift was a specific aesthetic response and allowed for new directions. Immediacy, serious play, and a surrealist reference played into our hands as artists and collaborators as we worked through 15 forms. The title of this body of work pays a debt to the great Georgio de Chirico for leading the work into the path of impossible paths with looming shadows and dead ends.  

O que levamos“ (what we carry) is a 80 foot drawing project designed for the Palacio de Dom Manuel, in Evora, Portugal - a UNESCO world heritage site.

These abstract figures are about humor.  Much of my work has an element of satire, irony or parody to it and I often will use surfaces and basic forms that oscillate around something familiar.  This body of work grew out of a series of drawings I made about cultural pride as seen through good hair and clothes.   I wanted the clothes to reference the fabulous mariachi tailored suits and craftwork and the hairdo to reference the ultimate form of self-pride and grooming.  The process and craft of slip-casting allows for multiples; and, multiples allow for transformation from the original idea into the unexpected.  With this form, a perfectly fine portrait of the pompadour style /vato cholo hair-cut transformed into the quintessential symbol of American pride: the all American hotdog with a squirt of ketchup.  The pairing of the crisp pants, the Pendelton shirt and the hot-dog head was unexpected, simple and funny.  Other examples like Holiday Ham, Double Bean Dog, Hello Nudie and Keep on Truckin’ all create a picture of our culture that can be appreciated with humor.   

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