San Francisco painter, singer, and filmmaker Clare E.Rojas is not a folk artist. In Clare Rojas’ works, women, men, nature and animals are strong and weak caring and connected to one another in their struggle to find harmony and balance. She celebrates women for their traditional and most basic differences and strengths.
While the characters are often
imbued with feelings of loss and nostalgia, one gets the sense that
they will not back down. They will ultimately beat their predators at
their own game. Rojas’s appropriation of folk imagery addresses contemporary female social concerns “The feeling of loss in my work, is my feeling of loss of hope. The struggle to find the good and the beautiful and represent it is my challenge. Understanding the ugliness that finds its way into our culture is crucial.” Rojas’s beautiful uses of allegory and of an imagined cultural landscape in her paintings act to subvert our current accepted perceptions of women. It allows the spectator an engagement with an alternate evocative world that is both funny and sad and that points to the complexities of being a resilient female in the twenty-first century. Rojas often depicts women alone, standing amid a flattened forest landscape, but this is not to suggest that they are lonely. No, Rojas’s women exist in their own reality, feeling peaceful, protected, and quiet.