Rose Smith Gaytan

2015

Mixed media on paper, 9.5"x 7.5"

This piece is a mixed media portrait of Flores’ great-grandmother Rose Smith Gaytan. The drawing represents a mediation that connected an ancestor’s complex cultural identity with the identity of her descendants while visually morphing exaggerated distinguishable genetic features such as an uneven lip line and curved nose. The manifestation of the drawing brought to light forgotten family histories and anecdotes, creating an opportunity for healing and exploration as Gaytan’s narrative was revealed over years of family research and storytelling. Smith Gaytan was a descendant of a Californio family and her culture, recipes, and ideologies live on with the family.