Photo Courtesy of Vidal Espina
Jacquelene Cristina Verna is an Argentine-American sculptor and performance artist focusing on the North American separation of death in the 70s and its relationship with the Latin American political turmoil and atrocities of the same time period.
Jacquelene Cristina Verna’s work is heavily research based and concerns a historical relationship and convergence between North and South America during a time of the US’ political funding of right-wing parties, military coup and Dirty War of Argentina. While death, kidnappings, and torture became a reality for many Latin American countries in the late 60s and early 70s, the United States experienced a separation from death; with people passing away outside of the home —in hospitals, rising popularity of cremation and the mass-production of headstones. Following the Golden Age of US capitalism, automobiles, plastic commodities and commercialized goods became less personalized and the rise of popular culture aided in further polarizing the two sheltered hemispheres. Previously one of the top seven wealthiest countries, Argentina regressed into a state of underdevelopment in the 1970s— stifflying its progression beyond the time period.
Through means of craftsmanship and machine-like production, Verna creates functional funerary commodities that may be seemingly mass produced and marketed in an alternate fictional reality, calling upon kitsch, working class culture and nostalgia. Heavily inspired by Latin American conceptual artists of the time period, Verna aims to reference and critique the symbols, ideas and means of production of the early conceptual movement— through varying degrees of difference and separation— in the educational environment of a gallery space.
Jacquelene Cristina Verna was born in 1998 in Corona, California and has annually stayed in Rosario, Argentina for extended periods of time. In 2019, she will receive her BA in Visual Arts- Studio and minor in Art History at University of California San Diego. Verna currently lives and works in San Diego and interns for the Associate Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art. Past shows include "Undergrad Art Show" at the University Art Gallery, UCSD, La Jolla, CA and "A Ship In The Woods Music and Art Festival" at Felicita County Park, Escondido, CA.