‘Sueños Dreams:’ familiar folklore

Exhibition by local artist Anjelica Raquel features tragic yet magical pieces


Anjelica Raquel. “I’ll Miss You Dearly.” Photo by Laura Thevaos

Laura Thevaos, Staff Writer

“Sueños Dreams” is an art exhibit that opened up Oct. 21 in Comfort, Texas (about a 40 minute drive from UTSA). The artist who created this exhibit is local artist Anjelica Raquel Martinez. Anjelica grew up in Laredo, Texas and she received her MFA from UTSA and her BFA from Texas State University; Anjelica currently lives and works here in San Antonio. 

The artworks being displayed are a collection of fiber sculptures, drawings and paintings. Anjelica’s main inspiration for her artwork is the folklore of her family and most particularly, her grandfather’s death. “I think back, lovingly, to honey-dripped memories and a youth spent en el monte, but also to (my) dreams and night terrors and how they are so intertwined to my personal lore,” said Anjelica. She received much of the inspiration for her art from her upbringing and culture growing up in Laredo. 

The first thing that catches the eye as you walk down the town streets of Comfort, Texas is the fiber tapestry hanging in the shop window. It draws the eye in with bright, complimenting colors of mustard yellow, green and teal. This display tapestry is of a rabbit, reaching out to a cactus; a black raven sits in a tree and peacock colors hug the sun in the darker yellow sky. 

An art piece that is immediately seen entering the shop is a large fiber sculpture of a lamb on a green hill. This work is titled, “Los Tesoros De Mi Abuelito.” The lamb has two heads and interconnected bodies. As you walk around the back of the sculpture you can see that the guts of the lamb are spilling out and its organs are exposed. This piece came to Anjelica as her grandfather’s health was failing; it tells the story of both innocence and death, pain and childhood. It is a reflection of Anjelica’s other works, which depict animals in different portrayals of suffering or death. Anjelica does this all in a way that is both captivating and whimsical, heartbreaking and also beautiful.

Anjelica Raquel. “Los Tesoros De Mi Abuelito.” Photo by Laura Thevaos

“I’ll Miss You Dearly” is another life-size tapestry: a white fawn with a side wound and a tear runs down its face.There are clouds in the sky and stars are placed around the fawn. The fawn is floating above what appears to be dark blue clouds or a body of water. This piece was inspired by her grandfather’s death. It catches the mind like a dream: the imagery of the fawn and the beauty of the colors are like a fairytale, but the contrast of the blood and the pain of something so innocent depicts a deeper reflection of grief and pain. 

A smaller picture, “Summoning Toads By Flooding Their Holes,” is done with gouache on paper. It is an image of several toads crying, sitting in a puddle of water with a water hose surrounding them like a fence. This is similar to her other sketches and paintings on the walls of the exhibition shop, which portray animals and birds in the wake of pain, sorrow or flight. 

“Sueños Dreams” is a phenomenal place to visit and the artwork is both compelling and tragic, created with incredible artistry by Anjelica Martinez. This will be on view until December 30: you can also find more of Anjelica’s work on her Instagram @anjelicaraquel24.