Image of artwork titled "Parent teacher conference (Leona Helmsley)" by Taína Cruz

Taína Cruz, Parent teacher conference (Leona Helmsley), 2022
Oil on canvas
30 × 30 inches

Exaggerated characters with elf ears combined with symbols like weapons are used by the artist to address mysticism, satirise the witch stereotype, or uncover meanings behind objects. Despite their evil nature, her villainous characters also enjoy comfort. Her work falls into satire-horror tropes, especially when reconciling trauma, colonialism and Black femininity. Cruz’s portraits possess an otherworldly quality, their neon colours evoking traffic lights as well as sunrises and sunsets over Lake Michigan. In her role as a guide and storyteller, she believes discussing history is important. However, even more so is ensuring their survival. –Vanessa Murrell, DAZED



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