Tatiana Suarez, "Sagrada Vaquita"
Limited Edition of 50
Endemic to the Mexican Gulf of California, the vaquita is on the brink of extinction. Vaquitas have few predators, but they often get tangled in gillnets favored by fishermen targeting another critically endangered animal: a fish of about the same size called the totoaba. Totoaba swimbladders fetch thousands in China, as an ingredient in soup. It is estimated that only about 60 individuals remain in the wild. If Mexico doesn’t widen its attempt at conservation, the species may be gone as soon as 2022.
The Vaquita is only found in the uppermost corner of Mexico’s Gulf of California. Due to their name being of Latin origin along with their geography, I chose to depict the Vaquita in the gentle embrace of a saintly figure, similar to those found on Latin American prayer cards and candles. Having these cards in one’s possession and lighting these candles are viewed as a ritualistic observance for someone. This piece represents a prayer of hope and protection for these magnificent creatures."
Born and raised in Miami, Tatiana Suarez’s work draws you into a surreal, creamy, and ethereal world filled with doe-eyed figures ornamented by unsettling accompaniments and sexual undertones. On both canvas and walls, Suarez’s work is rich with symbols from her Brazilian and El Salvadorian heritage, juxtaposing the beautiful with the exotic and creepy to create enchanted narratives. The natural mythology and folklore from her respective parent cultures influence her work, from the indigenous face paint and adornment used to the rich and tropical color palettes of the South American landscape.