Cynthia Hooper

Region: Pacific Coast

I was raised in Los Angeles, educated in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now work and teach in northern California. I've long been fascinated by the conceptual complexities and unexpected formal beauty generated by overlooked and environmentally problematic landscapes, and use painting, video, and interdisciplinary projects to convey these interests.

My recent paintings explore the resourcefully improvised and mostly hand-made domestic architecture of the rapidly and perilously expanding working-class communities of Tijuana, Mexico. Within these neighborhoods, recycled garage doors from vintage San Diego subdivisions are repurposed as sturdy four-walled Mexican homes. These garage doors-once an important façade component for mid-century American commuter homes-now function as the only façade for households that (more often than not) cannot afford a car. This subtle irony-as well as these homes' iconic beauty-is completely compelling, as are the complex social and economic contingencies that shape these communities.