Nunca Por Nada, Piano De Mi Padre is a recreation of a spinet piano made out of plaster and embedded with found objects.
Accompanied by an audio performance, the sound that comes from the inside reveals the imperfect process of learning to play the 1959 song “Sleep Walk” by ear. This sculpture tells the story of my fathers piano, and the ways I heavily associate object with some of the most formative moments of my identity and development as a person, artist, and writer.
I am interested in the symbol of the piano as it is more generally perceived with a classical and western connotation - it is something my family could never afford to buy, and when my father moved to our first home in 1993 and found one abandoned and spray-painted a hideous red by the previous tenant- he discovered he couldn’t afford to tune or move it either. In an urge to embrace the piano as a centerpiece for his new home, a stamp of arrival, and a toy for his children- my father repainted the wood, and made this broken thing beautiful, meaningful, and brought it to life. I was always urged to play no matter how it sounded, so me and my brother spent a decade relentlessly banging on the keys. My father never gave us any restriction on the freedom to express ourselves and to also, try to create something beautiful out of little.
Two decades later when our house was foreclosed, we had no choice but to destroy the piano; this loss and destruction of a five hundred pound vessel of love and memory is something I have never been able to stop mourning, and is a symbol for many of the people, places, things, and moments, I have lost naturally and wish to honor.
Piano De Mi Padre is an ode- to the heart of my childhood home, and the person that first nurtured my self-expression. This sculptural collage holds thousands of pounds of plaster, and hundreds of hours of labor in imperfect, memory-inspired fragments. Each piece is my sacrament, and the song my gesture of sacrifice: to mirror the lifelong rituals of sorting through grief, uncovering identity, and expressing gratitude to what has shaped me-
it has never