Caribbean immigrants growing up in New York City have opportunities exceeding their parents’ initial perspectives. One is to pursue life as an optimistic creator with various possibilities. Passion and creativity were on display at the Bronxlandia building in Hunts Point during a recent art exhibition titled “The Language of Touch,” the first show from Dominican Bronx-based artist Judany Sanchez.
“The Language of Touch” is a suitable name since art can be felt beyond a physical painting. Sanchez believes his pieces convey powerful messages and, “evokes a range of emotions in those who view them.” One piece, “Within a Prism,” caused unexpected reactions from a few visitors. “When looked at from an angle, some viewers saw a face when, in fact, it was just the petals of a flower,” said Sanchez. He described the responses to “Prism” as his favorite moment.
Sanchez’s favorite piece, “No. 0: Untitled,” is a breakout creation that redefined what he considers art. “My artwork before this painting was very rigid,” he said.
He challenged himself to paint images as they were. He confronted and changed his creative process by painting with more freedom. His first show was the perfect opportunity to introduce his re-envisioned art. “Art is all-encompassing; art is everything we see, everything we touch,” said Sanchez.
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Sanchez’s choice as an aspiring artist wasn’t immediately embraced by his family. As a Dominican, Sanchez understood why his mother encouraged a conventional career path. “I know she only wants what is best for me and my sister, but [her mindset is] in the traditional ways of creating success,” he said. Sanchez’s mother was proud of her son’s show, especially when seeing that three of his artworks were purchased.
According to www.zippia.com, about 14% of fine artists are Latino. A Demographic Snapshot: NYC’s Latinx Immigrant Population report from www.nyc.gov said 46% of Latinx workers are in service and sales occupations and 73% of Latinx immigrants in the workforce are defined as essential workers. Based on these numbers, representation from the Latinx community is important. This is why Sanchez aspires to create and be heard. “My goal as an artist is to create work that resonates with people on a deep level,” said Sanchez.
As a Baruch College alumnus, Sanchez considers himself a “high intellect” who finds it difficult to captivate an audience through speech. He said he felt “overwhelmed” at his show while proving his ability to have one. “I am lucky to have such a strong support system that helped me through it,” he said. He recognizes his family and friends as his main encouragers. “Their support was instrumental in deciding to do this again,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez plans to host a second art show by the fall. In the meantime, he will be working on new paintings and commissioned pieces. In a thank you email, he wrote to attendees of this show, “I hope that the experience of attending ‘The Language of Touch’ touched your heart and soul in a profound way.”
For more information about the artist and his work, visit Instagram pages @judany.s and @aestheticstorm.