Girls Run This Motha#%Part I of II

An Interview With Diana Contreras

By Heike Dempster

pawnshopface - photo by Versatile Light Studio

In celebration of Women’s History Month, artist Diana Contreras brought together some of her favorite fellow female artists for the group exhibition “Girls Run this Motha#%” at Wynwood gallery WYN317. Opening on March 6th, the exhibition will feature works by Diana Contreras, Kazilla, Charlotte Oedekoven, Delvs, Miss Lushy, Lulu107 and Michelle Vasquez. As a common inspiration Beyoncé will be the theme for the exhibition and represent as a shining example of independence, power, talent, beauty and being a successful woman of the 21st century.

You are organizing the group show “Girls run this Motha!#%”. Why did you decide to put together and be a part of this exhibit?

I am often asked, “Do you know any other girl artists?” I wanted to answer that question with by putting on an all Miami female art show. I chose these artists because I believe in their talent and the art scene needs to get familiar with them. We are rich with local talent in Miami. I respect and admire each of these artists as my colleagues and personally as friends.

What do Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, it means sisterhood. It’s a time to celebrate all the strong wonderful women who have made the world a better place. The first time I heard about International Women’s Day was through Deborah Magdalena’s Swan Festival. This event happens every year and I love the idea of bringing women together to celebrate each other. Everyday should be International Women’s Day!

Please tell us about your work in the exhibition and how it relates to Women’s Month.

The modern day icon, Beyoncé, inspires this exhibition. I love that she says, “I’m over being a pop star, I don’t wanna be a hot girl – I wanna be iconic.” My piece is a portrait of Beyoncé wearing gold fangs. I love how she can pull off any look. Also, her music makes me feel empowered and that is what women’s month means to me.


How do you interpret Girl Power in your art?

My art speaks of strong women who still show emotion. Also, I use strong vibrant colors and plenty of hot florescent pink.

Which woman/ women do you admire and why?

I admire so many women! In the art scene I love the Guerilla Girls because they fought for female artists to be represented in the art world. They remain anonymous and had a great sense of humor about it. I mean, they wore guerillas masks. They are kickass female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world and beyond.

What subjects do you generally explore in your art?

I love painting women and expressing whatever I am feeling through my subjects. Whether I am conveying strength, sadness, love, fun, etc, I imagine they are all self-portraits.

How would you describe your art?

I enjoy experimenting with anything I can make a mark with or on. From canvas, paper, to walls, my work deals with femininity, set in whimsical melancholic portraiture. My work merges the love of caricatures with the painting techniques of the Old Masters. I like to combine several styles of art but for now I describe my art as urban contemporary.

 What medium is your favorite and why?

Oil paint is my favorite medium because of its buttery texture and blending abilities. When I work with paint I am reminded that movement of the brushstrokes and the use of colors are powerful. The paintbrush becomes an extension of my body. I also enjoy experimenting with mixed media, layering, texture, and collage. Although, aerosol is a close second favorite because it makes painting large so fun!

What other projects are you currently working on?

I am working on commissioned murals, apparel, and a new series.

What else do you have planned for 2014?

More all female art shows! Building together with my female colleagues and opening doors for more female artists.