Chicano Art, Creative Risks, and the Unusual: An Interview with Artist Daisy Sanchez

Photo by Daisy Sanchez

By Mariela Rivera

Daisy Sanchez is an artist from Las Vegas. This summer she had her first solo show at ASAP, short for Available Space Art Projects, an experimental art space in The Historic Commercial Center District. Her most recent work is an introspection into her cultural identity. Her Chicano art gives a view of her world as a Mexican-American. Growing up she believed “Margarita” was her Mexican name, she says in ASAP’s blog post of her recent exhibition—as it means Daisy in Spanish. Viewing her art, it becomes evident that her culture interlaces with her familial ties, both of which shape her identity in the exhibition.

I first met Daisy in intermediate sculpture at UNLV. We were taking it together when the pandemic hit and shut everything down. During this time, we continued to make sculptures, but found ourselves constrained to resources we found on hand at home. 

This experience encouraged me to become more experimental in my approach to art making. Similarly, Daisy is drawn to found objects and channels an experimental nature in all her pieces. I wanted to know more about her process and work, so I caught up with her to ask her about her recent exhibition. 

Mariela: Your work seeks to give a different perspective. Artist’s make art based on how they view the world. Through what lens do you view art? 

Daisy: I’m a very observant person. I like to look at details and special moments. What stands out to me, is what makes a thing or a situation unique. A sense of emotion is also important. Joy, sadness, passion, fear, et cetera. 

M: After visiting Oregon and experiencing culture shock, you began to appreciate culture more. How so? 

D: It made me think how thankful I am to grow up in an environment full of diversity. I barely saw any person of color in Oregon—and I thought to myself, “where are the Hispanic grocery stores?” 

M: You like working with found objects. What draws you to this medium? 

D: The existing qualities could be expressed or manipulated to create something new. Where it could be recognizable and enhanced or turned into something completely different. 

M: Your work has experimental qualities. How do you go about taking creative risks and creating unusual or shocking subjects? What do you like about it? 

D: One of my biggest inspirations is Eric Andre when he had his show in Adult Swim. The way he expressed himself was so weird and chaotic and made me feel more confident in the way I want to express myself. Subjects that are too “gross” or difficult to talk about is what I try to express. 

M: You just did your first solo show at ASAP. What was that like?

D: It was a big learning experience for me. It put me to the test on everything I learned from school and doing it on my own, from choosing a collective work to installing. I wanted everything to look good together. 

M: There was an emphasis on family in [this exhibit]. Why is family the main subject?

D: My parents never really talked about themselves or their family until I started asking questions. It just sparked my interest in learning about them. Like one of my pieces from Margarita was “Mis Tías,” and it had Maria written all over it in different ways and it’s an expression of how almost all my mom’s sisters are named Maria, including my mom.

M: Are there any visual artists that you draw inspiration from? 

D: There are too many I love, but two of my favorites I would say are Mike Kelley, and right now, I’m getting into Frida Kahlo. I love Mike Kelley for having shocking subject matter and using things like they were collected. I just got into Frida Kahlo. I learned more about her personality and it’s interesting how she projected herself. I love her still life at the moment. 

M: Now that you’ve earned your BFA, how has making art changed for you, if at all? 

D: Now when I work, I have this strong gut feeling if I’m satisfied or not. I look at my work more, spend time with it, plan some stuff around. I basically do everything I learned in school, more than actually doing it when I was in school. 

M: How would you like viewers to perceive your art? 

D: I want them to find themselves in my work or make them see a new perspective. 

M: What else do you have going on right now artistically or are going to be working on in the near future? 

D: I decided to go back to school to earn a graphic design degree. I’m about to finish the summer semester, and so far, I enjoy it! I feel like my projects there are not that great, but I did learn I love typography. 

You can view Daisy’s work on her ig page @daisyyysaid and her recent exhibition at ASAP’s website.

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