Visiting Artist Program

Tamara Torres

Event Information
Rhoden Arts Center
Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
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Tamara Torres

I, Tamara Torres, am an interdisciplinary Afro-LatinX feminist artist, community activist, and mother based in Trenton, New Jersey. My artistic practice is varied and I work in multiple mediums, including narrative collage incorporating elements of Caribbean folk tales, and abstract “mindscapes” – paintings featuring interplanetary realms and cavernous fields of darkness shot through with luminosity within which the viewer can swim and lose themselves. My art conjoins a profound Afro-Caribbean cultural, psychological, and socio-political exploration based on my own complex autobiographical experience from which I bring forth artworks which rattle the cultural cages of my heritage, yet also exist as cries for mental sanctuary from the darkness that surfaces around unspoken taboos related to mental-health, sexual, and societal challenges.

Demanding a place in the formerly white-male-dominated world of contemporary non-figurative, non-objective, and non-representational art, my artworks challenge misconceptions and blow apart stereotypes, moving beyond familiar classifications and representations of what an Afro-LatinX painting should look like to emphasize the complexity of the Afro-LatinX experience within humankind. I use recurring symbols in artworks, including my “shadow person,” an identifier of a broader societal displacement and erasure of people who live to survive in a ravenous and colonist world often omitted from mainstream experience. Through a combination of forms, vivid colors, luxuriant textures, and spatial depth, I strive in my paintings to transport the viewer into another mental space. Most important, my studio process comes from a place of truth inspired by my physical environment, by colors and emotions I absorb from that environment, by writing, poetry and music created by artists who speak to me.

I have exhibited my art regionally, nationally and internationally, including in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, London, Edinburgh, and Rome. In March 2022, I was selected to be an art ambassador for the 2022 International Women's Day Art Connects Women – International Exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I am currently represented by Akwaaba Gallery in Newark, NJ.