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Artist Statement

"There is beauty in the mundane. In the quotidian comings and goings of the community that birthed and nurtured me. In the overlooked tender moments and cultural displays. Earlier in my illustration work I yearned, in my displacement, to imagine a mirror of myself and Black Dominican women like me, erased from historical accounts, from our present existence, an embodied myth. My limitations led me to focus on largely digital output.

    I now have the luxury of finding purpose in recording casual snapshots of the living breathing vibrant people in the Dominican Republic I am a part of, that capture and honor the magic I see in them. In watercolor, a return to my analog roots, assertion and reminder of my traditional skills and rejection of overly smooth manufactured AI. AI cannot reproduce actual physical paint thoughtfully brushed onto real paper,  only a textureless simulacrum on a screen. A sad print-out at best.

     Imagination creates new worlds but there is nothing like the real tangible thing. Or in this case, real people, because every painting is based on real living people I come across as I run errands or attend cultural events, simply depicted as they are. I materialize because we are material.

    Our mere existence is fraught, flesh and bone, blood relegated to afterthought, physicality denied if not for exploitation. Marginalization, villification, and prohibition are themes I by defacto address through depicting us, the reviled, as we truly are: gloriously gorgeously human."

-Zahira Kelly Cabrera



Pitchwise Festival 2017, Bosnia, Sarajevo




Sweety's at the ICA 2015, Institute of Contemporary Art-Boston


DIS | A Good Crisis 2018, Baltimore Museum of Modern Art 


DIS | What Do People Do All Day 2020, Kunsthal Charlottenborg Gallery, Copenhagen

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