What’s up chica?
We began our conversation trying to define just what kind of artist Maya Escobar is and we settled on “conceptual identity artist” for lack of a better term. I of course realized that none of that really means anything nor does it describe the full scope of what Maya does exactly. I say this as Maya sits next to me talking to Robbie Berman of the Halachic Organ Donor Society about her line of Shomer Negiah panties. Yeah, random right?
Maya grew up under the table of political meetings, raised by a sociocultural anthropologist Dad and a Publlic Health Nurse Mom. That and her ethnic background, Guatemalan Dad and American Jewish Mom, informs much of her artistic process. The final result is quirky, fun, intriguing and impossibly wide in scope. What am I talking about? I already mentioned the Shomer Negiah panties. I first came across Escobar after she released a series of short YouTube clips featuring Latina and Jewish female archetypes who I was initially kind of surprised to find out, were all played by her. The videos got some traction in the Jewish blog world, with most people focusing on the Jap or the frum woman character but not really getting the whole point.
Which is the point if you think about it. But don’t think about it too much. Maya likes to mess with your mind and the message may or may not dawn on you at some point in the future, but as you contemplate Latina Club chick, or Frida Kahlo or Jew Crew girl etc. just know that I think “getting it” is not really the point. It’s the journey that matters.
Maya has presented her work in many different venues all over the world and should you wish to feature this awesome artiste, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prior to her presenting at the GA, Maya presented at the “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies” at DePaul University in Chicago.