Culture

You’re About To Want All Boricua Elizabeth Barreto’s Illustrations Tattooed On Your Body

Elizabeth Barreto isn’t a household name, but she’s on her way to becoming a muralist icon in Puerto Rican culture. While she’s been painting the streets of San Juan with her expansive work, she’s also going smaller scale, and venturing into body art.

Regardless of what she’s doing, her goal as an artist is to touch on the realidad of Puerto Rican society in the midst of a revived feminist revolution, and collapse after Hurricane Maria.

Here’s Barreto’s story in a nutshell.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Barreto was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Until she accepted an artists’ residency at Cafe Con Leche, in Pittsburgh. It was her first time living outside of Puerto Rico. Before that, she received a BFA in visual arts at Puerto Rico’s most prestigious academy of arts.

Her niche is muralism.

Her art is intended to inspire Puerto Ricans. ????????

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Let’s kick ass! Against fear, silence, tyranny, oppression, inequality, gender and racial discrimination, sex abuse, the colonization of our bodies and minds. Against growing up in shaming and humiliation. We will not get tired of claiming what is rightfully ours every year, everyday. United we are powerful and we know it, the future knows it. And just because nobody has the right to tell me how to act like a PUERTO RICAN WOMAN! Saludos a todas las mujeres que amo, mis cómplices de vida, las que hacen de mí un mejor ser humano. Sí, somos brujas, el Caribe nos hizo así. ✨????????”

Almost all of her characters have line drawing tattoos on them, and cultural symbols everywhere.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Barreto moved to Mexico City in February and the cultural immersion has been explosive for her work. Eso es the Gemini sisters, with vivid desert and island imagery. Me pregunta if this is not a Puerto Rican and Mexican sister arm in arm? Que piensas?

But Barreto has respect for the dead, and speaks out in solidarity against injustice.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “#sayhername Her name was Claudia Patricia Gómez González. She was a 20 year old maya mam indigenous woman who was fatally shot in the head by the hands of a veteran Border Patrol officer. She was no threat to anyone. She was only armed with the strong-willed and courageous spirit to move far away in hope to secure a job to pay for her education and family support. But instead she found herself denied the right to live. You will not be forgotten, rest in power Claudia.”

Barreto is a self-professed mafu crew lifer, and gets active to legalize recreational marijuana.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Recently I shared an enlightening experience with my mother, smoking weed of course. I can finally rest in peace.✨???? ”

My lesson with mi mami was that when she’s “enlightened”, she thinks she’s walking on a tightrope and will throw herself on strangers begging them salvarle. So dramatic.

Barreto has recently started making art out of alcohol.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

It’s cultural, ok.

Caption: “Noche en Tenochtitlán ???? ???? …if you are wondering what I’m drinking it’s #fernetbranca , the italian elixir that soothes my fat belly ????.”

Támbien, Barreto is queer and proud of it.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Um, yes I was majorly obsessed with Sailor Moon, and clearly I was in good company. Barreto identifies as bisexual and we’re so grateful she’s injecting Latino culture with a creative embrace of the LGBTQ community.

This cutie self portrait of her and her boo is everything.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Hoy es día de #pridemexico y lo celebraremos con mucho amor. Un abrazo solidario a toda la comunidad LGBTTTI en México y Puerto Rico ????????.

Today is Pride Day in Mexico City. We will celebrate it with much love in solidarity with the LGBTQ communities in Mexico and Puerto Rico ???????? ???????? .”

IRL boo is also her merch model… and we love it. ????

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Get it? It’s the queer cosmos. It’s very clever, and her merch is available for purchase. When I get to support una boricua and the LGBT community, I say, “Take my money.”

Barreto is toying with temporary tattoos, one client at a time.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

That’s what you call entrepreneurship, kids. She found something she was good at and found a way to make money off of it. Not only is she making money off of it, she is find ways to spread her art on our bodies. That’s great marketing.

Mira esa “Bloody Mary” ????:

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

In case you’re a very fortunate non-recovering Catholic, I’ll fill you in. There are over a dozen claims around the world that a statue of the Virgin Mary was seen weeping tears of blood, to represent the blood of her slain son, Jesus.

It’s basically the reverent version of an otherwise happy, uplifting morning cocktail.

And you can get it on a T-shirt, mail it to your mami, and tell her you’re still a good Catholic.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Maybe don’t claim drinking booze makes you religious. Perhaps this is just a cute shirt to buy your mom and see if she realizes that she is wearing a bloody Mary on her shirt.

Barreto’s gift is to humanize the issues plaguing Puerto Rico, like it’s economic crisis.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Nina Alejandra Droz was arrested by the Puerto Rico Police Department for attempting to block a lie of riot cops by simply sitting in front of them. The U.S. District Attorney for Puerto Rico actually tried to paint her as a terrorist…for marching on May Day for an end to the economic crisis in her home country. In the end, Droz was sentence to 37 months in jail and 3 years probation for being an activist.

#FREENINA

There’s no question that Barreto is an unapologetic feminist.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Teach yo’ girls how to love themselves, how to be bold, fearless, mindful, empathetic, solidary, outspoken, honest, creative, caribbean proud…latina proud. Teach them how to fight like a girl..”

Barreto has even gracefully visualized the most ethereal poems of her ancestors.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Caption: “Post Umbra (1923)

????Vendrá un día el arcángel de la muerte
a dormirme en un abrazo largo y frío;
pero tendré, lo único que es mío:
mi lira de marfil, cuando despierte.
Despertaré en la eternidad más fuerte,
cual una flor al beso del rocío;
en una estrella cruzaré al vacío,
Y miraré como el Señor convierte
los nobles ideales en fulgores…
Veré cómo, fundiendo sus amores,
las bellas Islas triunfarán hermanas.
Y con la misma fe que ahora me inspira,
¡Una vez más resonará mi lira cantando las grandezas antillanas!”

16. But she is available to commission paintings of your pets and tattoo drawings.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

You know who to go to, now. Chihuahuas never looked so fierce. It is also a great way to remember your loved ones when the pass.

Oh, and Princess Nokia casually regrammed this portrait of her.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Boricuas apoyando boricuas. I love it. I’m also here for this hashtag #ilovemylittletittiesandfatbelly. Talk about empowering people through art.

And, it seems she’s in with Necromancy Cosmetics.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

Necromancy is a Puerto Rican owned cosmetic company that has the most severely badass shades in matte you can find. This is a portrait of Taller Brinca Verja, a renown graphic artist affiliated with Necromancy.

Barreto is also here for the food.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram
This Virgencita de la Alcapurria was painted as a mural on the wall of a pastelería. This piece of work was meant as a show of gratitude to the Dominicans who helped rebuild Santurce, Puerto Rico. She watched over them as they eat alcapurrías.

If you didn’t already know, Barreto is here for immigration reform.

CREDIT: @cookingood / Instagram

If you want to buy any of her work, shoot her a DM at @cookingood on Instagram. We don’t know what the shipping costs are but her t-shirts are no more than $20, and if you have una perrito who could use a toughened up portrait, she’s your wapa.


READ: Rita Moreno And Gina Rodriguez Shared In Mutual Puerto Rican Love And We Should All Aim For This Kind Of Relationship

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If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

Culture

If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

Bettman Archives / Getty Images

So many of us have been moved the art of the late Frida Kahlo. Even in death she’s gone on to inspire entire generations with her Surrealist self-portraits, lush depictions of plant and animal life, and magical realist tableaux. Not to mention her incredible life story.

She also inspired future generations of artists, many of whom are alive today creating beautiful works of art. These are just a few of the artists who have similar techniques, subjects, and styles to Frida Kahlo that you’ll definitely love if you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo.

Maria Fragoso – Mexico City

Credit: Teach Me Sweet Things / Theirry Goldberg Gallery

Influenced by the style and narratives of Mexican surrealists and muralists, Maria Fragoso creates work that celebrates her Mexican culture, while also addressing notions of gender expression and queer identity. Her brightly colored canvases offer voyeuristic glimpses into intimate moments, with subjects engaging in acts that seem at once seductive and mischievous—often while gazing directly out at the viewer.

Recently featured in Forbes’s “30 Under 30” in the “Art and Style” category, the 25-year-old artist is quickly rising to prominence. Born and raised in Mexico City, Fragoso moved to Baltimore in 2015 to pursue her BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art. While in school, Fragoso was the recipient of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship at the Yale Norfolk School of Art. Since graduating, she has completed residencies at Palazzo Monti and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Nadia Waheed – Austin, Texas

Credit: Message from Janus / Mindy Solomon Gallery

Born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, Austin, Texas–based artist Nadia Waheed explores notions of relocation, displacement, and vulnerability in her work. Her life-size figurative paintings are both allegorical and autobiographical—the female figures represent her own lived experiences, as well as the multifaceted identities of all women.

Rodeo Tapaya – Philippines

Credit: Nowhere Man / A3 Art Agency

Rodel Tapaya paints dreamlike, narrative works based on myths and folklore from his native Philippines. Drawing parallels between age-old fables and current events, Tapaya reimagines mythical tales by incorporating fragments of the present. “In some way, I realize that old stories are not just metaphors. I can find connections with contemporary time,” Tapaya said in a 2017 interview with the National Gallery of Australia. “It’s like the myths are poetic narrations of the present.”

While the content of Tapaya’s work is inspired by Filipino culture, his style and literary-based practice is heavily influenced by Mexican muralists and Surrealist painters such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and, of course, Frida Kahlo. Often working at a large scale, Tapaya has been commissioned to create several site-specific murals, including one for Art Fair Philippines in February 2020.

Leonor Fini – Buenos Aires

Credit: Les Aveugles / Weinstein Gallery

Long overlooked in favor of male Surrealists, Leonor Fini, a contemporary of Kahlo, was a pioneering 20th-century force. Known for having lived boldly, Fini is recognized for her unconventional lifestyle, theatrical personality, and avant-garde fashion sense. Born in Buenos Aires in 1907, Fini was raised by her mother in Trieste, Italy. She taught herself to paint and first exhibited her work at the age of 17.

Fini had one of her first solo exhibitions at age 25 with a Parisian gallery directed by Christian Dior. Her work was then included in the groundbreaking exhibition “Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism” at MoMA in 1936, while at the same time she had her first New York exhibition with Julien Levy Gallery. Today, Fini’s work is represented in many major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Ramon Alejandro – Miami

Credit: Eternal Life / Latino Art Core

José Ramón Díaz Alejandro, better known as Ramon Alejandro, paints idyllic still lifes of tropical fruits set in ethereal landscapes. The surrealistic compositions have a similar spirit to Kahlo’s less iconic but equally masterful still-life works

Coming from a long lineage of artists, Alejandro grew up with the artworks of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle adorning the walls of his childhood home. After growing up in Havana, Alejandro was sent to live in Argentina in 1960 amidst political turmoil in Cuba, and has continued to live in exile since then.

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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