Celeste De Luna
My artwork is about my community and environment and strives to provoke thought and conversation about social change. It is a way of thinking, processing, and sharing information. My work isn't just for the art world but also for my family, community, and people interested in border studies, Xican@ art, feminism, and politics.
My work is a tool to understand and deconstruct oppressive paradigms in my physical/spiritual/psychic environment. I explore the complexity of relationships of borderland people and landscape. Common themes in my work include migrant/border experiences of women, children, families, Tejas landscape, the spiritual struggle of conflicting identities, and “survivor’s guilt”. Common iconography frequently features razor wire, fences, bridges, and anchor babies. By mapping geopolitical aspects of my environment, I understand myself better. Post-911 militarization of my homeland and has been the catalyst of “conocimiento” for me, a concept written about by Xicana lesbian thinker Gloria Anzaldua. Sometimes, I use my imagination to create narratives in which I use my family and myself as characters. In this way, I explore the concept of “You are the other me.” By imagining myself as the other, my borderland narratives take on a personal and feminist viewpoint that contradicts superficial“border violence” stereotypes.
Celeste De Luna is a printmaker from the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. “A true daughter of the borderlands, her art celebrates the quotidian and the exceptional on the border,” writes Ines Hernandez-Avila. De Luna continues to explore the geo-political aspects of post-911 militarization of her environment such as border walls, drones, checkpoints, and bridges. Much of her work is centered on the border experiences of mixed documentation status communities. Her iconography frequently shows razor wire, fences, bridges, and “anchor babies”.
De Luna is a self-taught printmaker whose work includes large-scale woodcuts and fabric installation. Her political subject matter is social commentary with a feminine sensibility. In addition to her studio practice of creating large-scale relief prints, quilts, and installation, De Luna works in collaboration with community in Brownsville, Texas as a cofounder of the socially engaged arts collaborative Las Imaginistas. Las Imaginistas are recipients of a 2017 Artplace America Creative Placemaking grant and 2018 A Blade of Grass Fellows. Currently, De Lunais managing her print shop, Metzli Press, creating curriculum for a community printmaking collaborative, Taller de Permiso, (Permission Workshop,) and a lecturer at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and lives with her family in Harlingen, Texas.