Culture

Meet Artist of the Uplift Dalia Palacios

Dalia Palacios grew up in Echo Park, and their multidisciplinary art gathers stories from their community, the better to uplift and highlight the practical magic in the beauty of everyday life. With an eye on social and environmental justice, mental health, and ameliorative collaboration with their fellow neighbors, Palacios creates inventive compositions that run the material gamut from digital processes to collage, found objects, acrylic and spray paint, pencil, and the thoughtfully repurposed. The promises and challenges of living alone and of together find voice in their vibrant, surrealistic, symbol-rich visions that blur and merge real and dream life with intensity and intention. Currently, Palacios is in residence at Arts at Blue Roof, where their exhibition will be on view through November.

meet dalia palacios

Dalia Palacios: There Must Be a Better Way, 2-21

L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?

DALIA PALACIOS: Growing up when my younger brother and I would get into trouble my father would punish us by placing us into a room, giving us both five sheets of white paper and crayons, and the only rule was that if we wanted to get out of our punishment the sheets needed to be filled from top to bottom. He didn’t care what we filled it up with as long as we didn’t leave any visible white spots. I don’t think my father realized how his form of punishment would spark my interest in art at the age of five. That’s when I realized I was an artist and I could tap into my inner world and visually tell my stories.

Dalia Palacios: Self-Portrait / Mi Vida

What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?

My work is mixed media, collaborative, colorful, multilayered, textural, animated and often on upcycled materials. I use my art to advocate for social injustices, climate change, migration, and mental health awareness through portraiture and installations.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?

If I wasn’t an artist I would be a teacher guiding the next generation of artists in a free art school run by other POC artists like myself, or a farmer living in community with my chosen family.

Did you go to art school? Why/Why not?

I enrolled into community college but as a first generation student with immigrant parents I struggled. Balancing school and the demands to help my parents pay bills was tough. I also felt like the fine art world didn’t support or understand a brown queer person like myself. My lived experiences were often disregarded and not seen by these institutions so I left school.

Dalia Palacios: My Ancestors Got Me

Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?

I am currently living and working on Tongva Land. I’m here because my family decided to leave Veracruz , México and establish their lives here. I don’t plan to permanently live in so-called L.A. and I do plan to relocate elsewhere in the future.

When was your first show?

My first show was a group show at the California African American Museum with Ryman Arts in the Spring of 2007.

When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?

I am currently getting ready to install my first solo show, Te Me Cuidas Por Favor/Please Take Care of Yourself opening with a reception on Friday, November 4 at Arts At Blue Roof and it will be up until the end of November (and with a virtual artist talk on Tuesday, November 1, 6pm on Zoom). The work created in this three month residency A Room of One’s Own is a love letter to my family and myself. To remind us that despite having to navigate our illnesses and society’s gaze, we are still human and still here surviving and breaking down these stigmas that often dehumanize us.

Dalia Palacios: Don’t Shoot I Called For Help

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?

Sometimes I listen to music and sometimes I enjoy working in silence when I’m creating . These are a few of the artists that are in my current playlist Nujabes, Sudan Archives, Yaeji, Ives Tumor, Blood Orange, Vex Ruffin, Lionclad, Hiroshi Yoshimura, Aphex Twin, Nosaj Thing, Los Destellos, and more.

What artist living or dead would you most like to show or work with?

I would have loved to work with Francis Bacon or Lygia Pape if they were still alive. It would be an honor to show alongside Judithe Hernandez, Jessica Cuautle, and Paz Errazuriz.

Website and social media handles, please!

IG: @blissone

I’m currently working on my website right now and hopefully it will launch in January of 2023. For now y’all can find me here: artsatblueroof.org.

Dalia Palacios: Ningun Ser Humana Es Illegal, 2019

Dalia Palacios: Our Seeds Deserve to Live

Dalia Palacios: On the Border, 2019

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