Natalie Escobar

Region: South


City / State: Brooklyn, NY

I’ve never seen my father in real life. I know him only through family stories, photos, and digital screens. Painting allows me to explore my lost family’s Salvadoran history in order to understand my own biracial identity. These histories include the subjects of war, the recurrence of mental illness, and loss.

My recent paintings question societal stigmas against madness, and are a byproduct of my empathy with those struggling with mental illness. They are black-and-white renditions of imaginary overgrown tropical environments at night. These psychological mindscapes embody a personal symbology, containing visual elements such as lush tropical leaves, snakes, grates, feet, and chains. Isolated figures often peek through the chaos within the paintings, rarely revealing their identity.