My Lola, who lived on a cocoa farm, often said “Ang gulay ay para sa baboy. Ang baboy ay para sa akin”. My Mamita would say “Your Daddy got his pallet from me, and I got my pallet from your Lola.”
In an age-grade society, food bound us from generation to generation.
Now, years after leaving my home, I have been painting food from memory. Painting has been somewhat like indulging in a comfort meal: good for the soul.
Distance has a way of making people cling to the place they left behind. Since migrating to the U.S., my life has changed dramatically. I worked as a line cook for a short stint in Downtown, Portland, became a medic, and completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. I’ve fallen in love with the service industry, navigated the immigration system, and felt the pain of the American Dream. I married my wife and I became a father.
Times have been uncertain, but painting is a way for me to live in the moment. No matter what has changed in my life, painting has afforded me the opportunity to understand something small- even if it’s as small as understanding which color best represents leche flan. I’ve never been a man of many words, so I use painting as a way to share and savor my past.
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