Alisa Henriquez​

henrique@msu.edu
(517) 355-7629

319 Kresge Art Center East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyArt, Art History, and Design

Professor
Painting

Curriculum Vitae

Biography

Alisa Henriquez was born in Kingston, Jamaica and first studied art at Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, studied painting at Yale Summer School of Music and Art and earned her MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her work has been exhibited at venues nationally and internationally, including A.I.R. Gallery in New York, University of Maine Art Museum, The Painting Center in New York, Wayne State University in Detroit, Rochester Institute of Technology, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Rhode Island School of Design, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Northwestern University, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Purdue University, and Buschlen Mowatt Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Most recently her work was featured in Border Crossings, an international publication dedicated to contemporary art. Henriquez is currently a Professor of Studio Art at Michigan State University.

Artist Statement

In these constructed assemblages, I combine material gathered from popular and glamour culture with digitized and magnified images from contemporary media, art history, and autobiographical sources. In reconfiguring and reassembling these materials and images into various cubist-like formations, I aim to explore the multiple histories, various beliefs, and at times contradictory notions of self that emerge.

Within the lozenge shaped wood panels that are stacked and assembled into various cubist-like formations, a host of other materials are also used including paint, resin, glitter, vinyl, rubber, yarn, and synthetic hair and fur. When juxtaposed or layered with photo-based imagery, materials like glitter and paint can function as a violation or gestural defacement of the underlying glamour image. In some works, images and materials that draw from my personal history and art historical representations of women are utilized. Images of Adam and Eve or other mythological figures are often vertically stack in ways that reference Venus of Willendorf. At other times, recurring motifs such as heavily mascaraed eyes, glossed lips, hair, and skin also conjure female fertility, sexuality, and desire, albeit through a different, media inspired lens. The encoded meanings and myths contained within such sources offer me much artistic fodder for examining the abstract dialogue, emblematic importance, and often fractured nature these material and media born identities reveal when positioned in the same space. In their layering and fragmentation as well as their compositional character, I hoped to establish a sense of visual slippage and a breaking of the power of the singular, individual image. The result are works that I hope capture the ongoing internal negotiation with media fragments and societal constructions of identity and beauty. Ultimately, one might even say, the subject of the work becomes not the individual images or their juxtaposition, but the act of looking and the constant figuring and problematizing of our relationship to these sources and the continual state of makeover they represent.

University News

Making Art Accessible to the Visually Impaired
Published November 17, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Woman touching tangible art
MSU’s Digital Humanities & Literary Cognition Lab, the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD), and Exceptions journal continue to carry on an MSU…Read now »
Five Faculty Promoted to Full Professor
Published November 17, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Photo of Beaumont Tower, a red brick building
This year, the College of Arts & Letters promoted five faculty members to Full Professor with tenure, including Kirk Domer, Bill Hart-Davidson, Alisa Henriquez, Shawn Loewen, and Rob…Read now »
Students Create Accessible Art for Broad Exhibit
Published November 8, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
"Accessible Art Event" written in white on a painted background featuring both black and bright colors
A one-day interactive exhibit at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, focusing on art accessibility across the visual ability spectrum, will feature creative work by MSU students in…Read now »
Accessible Art Exhibit at the Broad Museum
Published April 22, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
picture of a red brick building at MSU with cherry blossoms framing the photo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cwmv85UDIQ&feature=emb_title Touching artwork at museums is almost always forbidden. But the “Accessible Art” exhibit at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art…Read now »