“I was born ostentatious. They will list my name in the dictionary someday. They will use ‘Imeldific‘ to mean ostentatious extravagance.” — cited in an Associated Press report, April 1998
Lately I’ve been looking to my cultural identity as a source of creative inspiration. Above is what I hope is the first of many pieces inspired by exploring the history, symbols, and present context associated with my ethnic background – I’m a second-generation Filipino Canadian – and mixing it up with art, craft, fashion and the DIY movement. The current “handmade movement” in my opinion tends to neglect the role that non-North American or non-European cultures play in what techniques and products are valued, and so I wanted to see if and how these areas could be integrated.
It’s a silkscreened diptych called A First Lady and Her Shoes, and is of Imelda Marcos, former Philippines first lady, and a pair of shoes from the shoe museum in Marikina, Philippines, where hundreds of her shoes are on display (749 pairs to be exact). It parallels Andy Warhol’s pieces Jackie O. (1964) and Diamond Dust Shoes (1980-81) using colours of the Philippine flag. Marcos is arguably one of the most popular pop culture icons of the Philippines. Who’s the first person you think of when someone has a lot of shoes? Check out some of her infamous quotes here.
The time also seemed about right with nationwide elections in the Philippines that took place on Monday, as well as the exciting tribute album released a few weeks ago that David Bryne of the Talking Heads and Fatboy Slim put together to celebrate Imelda’s life. Here Lies Love is a collection of 20 songs featuring famous singers including Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Santigold and Martha Wainwright. Track teasers are below:
It’s rocking my Ipod right now (and it looks like it is for Imelda too..)