M. Giovanni Valderas is a Guatemalan/Mexican visual artist that is concerned about the gentrification in North Texas. Dictionary.com defines gentrification as “the process of renovating and improving a house or a district so that it conforms to the middle-class taste.” The issue with gentrification was highlighted in a story for the New York Times, April 13, 2014, titled, New Yorkers Need to Take Back their City. The author, Jeremiah Moss, states that gentrification drives out working-class from poor neighborhoods. “New York was implemented via strategically planned mass rezoning, eminent domain and billions in tax breaks to corporations. This led to the eviction of countless residents and small businesses, destroying the fabric of our streets.”
Sad Little Houses or (Casita Triste) is a new guerrilla outdoor art project just a few months in the making. The houses, which look like piñatas made with the same crepe paper look cute and inviting, but also out of place in the dusty colorless construction zones that they are placed.
According to M. Giovanni Valderas’s website, “Casita Triste blurs the boundaries between craft, art object, advocacy, and sentimental offering.” Each piñata style house is around 20”x 28” x 20” and is brightly colored to represent the neighborhood he grew up in and the community he wants to help, but also the artists stated on NPR’s Art + Seek the bright colors represent hope.
Photos from M. Giovanni Valderas' Instagram page. You can hear his NPR interview on Art + Seek, Sad Little Houses, Big Bad Problems.
This blog chronicles my research in activist art and my life as a woman in academia.