This Painter Explores the Hybridity of Western and Latin American Identity

Crystal Latimer’s paintings explore the hybridity of Western and Latin American identity – an exploration that does not assume a position in words, but in shape. Born in Hollywood, CA, Latimer completed her BFA at Slippery Rock University and went to receive an MA and MFA from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

Embedded in her compositions is Latin American culture: its intricate folk arts, tropical flora, and warm hues; while graffiti tags, bold mark making, and images of conquest interrupt this patchwork of shape and color. Patterns, both traditional and commercial, are fragmented and pieced together. Colors infused with Latin flavor are diluted by a ubiquitous white. Organic, blooming forms are contrasted by flat or rigid fields.

“Together, the fragmented, visual tapestries in my work are woven together to recreate historical narratives that better represent the hybrid Latino identity caused by colonization and upheld by westernization,” she writes on her website. According to Latimer, without taking a political stance, she aims to draw attention to the visual tapestries and unknown histories of Latin America.

Her work also includes reinterpretations of important historical paintings, with the aim to better understand culture and history. With thousands of fans on Instagram, Latimer’s artwork is celebrated both online and offline, having shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions. Below you’ll find a selection of her paintings: