My objective, as an artist treating fashion as a medium for fine art, is to explore the physical embodiment of memory in a way that challenges viewers to envision our future concerning the politics of our land and identities. Through the abstraction of “fashion,” and how it performs as a second or alternative skin, I discuss materiality as an instrument of occupation body, addressing the politics of erasure. Memories are embedded in materiality, which is why I currently prioritize cloth and weaving, clay, wood, and latex, as their histories play a prominent role in story-telling. Within the process of applying sculpture to either a body or space, exploring power dynamics and the significance of imprint becomes inevitable when discussing the impact of art disrupting colonial structures built on stolen land.
Gabrielle “Gabby” Vazquez is a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent whose creative work centers Indigenous politics, methods of identity reclamation, language and colonial structures across the Americas. Vazquez continually expands upon her fashion-as-art approach to design with intentions of bridging gaps between creative mediums and anthropological research. She has showcased work at several art spaces— among them The Joan Mitchell Foundation and El Museo de Los Sures— has canvassed extensively for various political campaigns across NYC, and is an emerging curator who has spearheaded the development of two exhibitions supported by The New School. Vazquez holds a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons: The New School for Design where she began an ongoing project for her thesis entitled “The Awakening of Diasporic Memory through Taíno Visual Culture.’’ This interdisciplinary work explores the intersections of language, notions of materiality, and Spanish Caribbean history. In May of 2022, Vazquez completed her MA in Anthropology at The New School, where similar research themes were explored.