Carmen Lomas Garza celebrates her Mexican American heritage through the use of traditional media and art forms rendered in her unique style and from her own life and imagination. Among those traditional forms are papeles picados, the Mexican art of cut paper, familiar as festive banners that flutter in the breeze at birthday parties and other special occasions. Like her paintings and installations, her cut-outs depict scenes from her family life in south Texas, Mexican and Mexican-American traditions, and Chicana/o iconography (such as the hummingbird who knows no borders.)
Now imagine these paper cut-outs as grand in scale as the great Mexican murals, built to withstand Texas hurricane winds and abate freeway noise, but like their paper ancestors, letting air and light pass. Rendered in paper, the delicate cut-outs might seem as ephemeral as the lived experience they celebrate, but cut into steel, they speak to the enduring significance of culture, life and hope.
Paper Cutouts to Steel is an award-winning documentary produced and directed by Arturo L. Garza, Katudi Productions.
Music by Robert Skiles and Tish Hinojosa