Mariah Florez

Aesthetics are Key

Art has innumerable functions in this world. It can be used to beautify, to commemorate,
to record history for future generations and much more. My favorite use, by far, is when
a piece is used to inform and inspire. Although I approach art in a variety of ways, molding
to the project at hand, the one constant I try to keep in mind when I create, is that I want
my work to introduce the viewer to something they may have never considered before, or
bring new light to an old subject. I want the viewers of my work to feel moved by this new experience so much so that it stays with them.

I have spent the past few months exploring ideas, about snakes and the incredible, natural
beauty they possess and the beauty they can inspire. I wish to use their aesthetics as a way
to convert the unconverted; introduce the unpopular idea of reptiles to the general public in
a way that makes the regular person more open to accepting them and respecting them. I
have found in my process that someone who already has a negative connotation associated
with snakes will likely not truly hear my message about these wonderful animals, because
all they hear are their negative past experiences. I would like to use my skills as an artist to
create things that provoke the viewer’s thought without being unapproachable. The end goal
for this, though I have distanced myself from it slightly, does remain the same; Create a level
of empathy in my viewers in order to shed light upon the unfair consequences created by
the Lacey act.

However, from this I think a new goal has emerged. I want to open peoples eyes to these
animals, I don’t need every person who views my show to come away loving these animals
as I do, but perhaps some can walk away thinking twice about their hatred or fear of them.

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