Seph Sanchez

Artist Bio: Seph Sanchez

Seph Sanchez is a queer non-binary latiné artist whose work explores the intersections of sexuality, gender, and ethnic identities. Throughout their work, they challenge societal norms and confront issues of power and safety surrounding Latiné queer and trans communities.

Drawing inspiration from pre-Colombian civilizations such as the Tairona, Moche and Olmec, Sanchez incorporates forms and techniques of traditional nose ornaments into their contemporary creations. Utilizing size and adornment as visual tools, Sanchez captures the dichotomy of empowerment and danger faced by their subjects.

Sanchez creates crescent-shaped brass and copper ornaments to serve both to empower and endanger the wearer. The potentially dangerous adornments symbolize protection, social status, and identity. Their art acts as a visual code, signaling a safe space for a subculture within a subculture, while challenging viewers to contemplate their own identities and societal roles.


Contemplating the Bones of My Ancestors

Date of Creation: May 10, 2023

List of Materials: Copper, Brass, and silver.

Dimensions: Joto ornament 1.2x3.5x1 inches, maricón medallion 5x36x3.5 inches

Photographer's Name: Sierra Greenslade

Model's Name: Seph Sanchez

Other Contributors: Sierra Greenslade is an artist who utilizes photographic methods to convey deeply personal journeys of childhood, lore, memory, and the West Texas landscape. Through the manipulations of Polaroid film, Greenslade transforms scenic images into intimate and distorted reimaginings of home. Exploring the impact of memory on ones sense of place, Greenslade corrupts tropes embedded within American landscape photography.

Conceptual Statement: The reclamation of the words transform them into chosen adornment. It declares the wearers identity and status. While one feels empowered to wear such bold proclamations, it is also endangerment. Existing as a queer Latiné often proves dangerous and fatal in countless landscapes. By taking these adornments into the West Texas landscape, the contemplations of identity, power, and danger become potent. As a non-binary Tejano, the intersections of Latinidad, transness, and queerness are inescapable. When viewed within the grass and land, one can begin to understand the contemplations written within the hidden plate of the medallion. “How many times have I heard this from the horses mouth? From the mouths of mothers, fathers, tias, tios, primas, primos. From the mouth of my grandmother, and perhaps her mother’s mother. Look upon me with suspecting eyes. look upon me and assign some great sin, to land me such a potent label. I wear them and wonder about the bones of my ancestors.”

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