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Makayla Baca and Emily Garcia pose outside of OT Circus at Art Walk on Friday, Sept. 8. They both use acrylic paint and create art with themes of femininity and womanhood. 

The feminine is devastatingly colorful

A bright, colorful booth layered with paintings of women and feminine expression, Makayla Baca and Emily Garcia sold both their individual and collaborative artwork pieces at the Art Walk on Friday night.

The pair met during a fair at The Cat and the Cobra tattoo shop where they were both selling artwork and discovered the similar themes of femininity across both their work.

The representations of deities that Baca creates with her artistic lens are in an effort to design an alternative to the common depiction  of female deities portrayed under the male gaze.

“A lot of women are expressed as beautiful, goddess-like or (with) serene  (qualities). If it’s a male (artist), you have it over-sexualized a little bit. So I think it’s important to show my women crying, or going through tragedy and very inspired by them looking like goddesses too,” Baca said.

Baca’s work deals with the relationship she has with her own mother and dysfunctional dynamics in families – dealing with both the tragedy and beauty of it.

“I have a piece where I have a doll house on top of the head. (In it), I explore a dysfunctional household, but also find beauty in that. A lot of people see my stuff and think it’s demonic, but it’s good to celebrate women and also see the beauty in a woman who’s not smiling,’’ Baca said. ‘‘We carry a lot of stuff with us inherently as women. Sometimes we’re not all smiley and we’re still beautiful no matter what.’’

Garica’s work explores femininity in relation to the whimsical and magical as a form of escapism.

“It’s almost an escape into this magical world. I’ve been getting a little bit more into doing landscapes and recently (I) did a lady coming out of a retro TV, so she has her curly hair coming out and it’s a little bit magical,” Garcia said.

Priorly, more of Garcia’s work focused on gas masks and cyberpunk art. The shift to bright, colorful work brought acceptance of self and a new path, she said.

“I drew this astronaut, but just the big head of an astronaut, and then she has a galaxy, fish and is full of detail. I bedazzled it and just really enjoyed it, and it was me putting (myself) out there. I don’t want to work anymore. I want to have fun and do this, so I just did that,” Garcia said.

Both Garcia’s and Baca’s work relate to their own experiences with femininity and finding different themes to convey how perception and reality can relate.

“My subject matter is strongly influenced by color and I really enjoy the female form. I like how soft and delicate it is, and to explore themes of fantasy and going into a different world – (to explore how) those themes of fantasy relate to the feminine,” Garcia said.

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Sharing her work, Baca said she hopes others can relate and take away themes she works with to relate back to their own life.

“I want people to … (take their own) lived experiences and find the beauty in that. Sometimes it’s hidden away and people don’t want to talk about it. When it’s put into a different light where it’s a deity that’s worshiped, then it can speak to them as well in that way,” Baca said.

Since working together, both said they have strongly influenced each other with one another’s acrylic and digital work.

“I think we really click, and whenever we have any ideas, we’re very open with each other and we talk through the motions of things,” Baca said.

Maddie Pukite is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at on Twitter @maddogpukite

Maddie Pukite

Maddie Pukite is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at on Twitter @maddogpukite 

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