- Shipping to the United States and Local Pickup in Chicago
Artist: Cristi López
Materials: Colored pencil, acrylic, and ink on panel
Size: 40"x60" Diptych
This work is Cristi's largest, most important work to date and is comprised of two cradled panels that are designed & intended to be hung together.
don’t swat the bees
“Two year ago, while I was still living in Chicago, I checked myself into
a mental health clinic. For a month and a half, I was part of an intensive
outpatient program for OCD & Complex Anxiety Disorders. Exposure and
response prevention therapy (ERP) was a substantial part of my treatment.
The Exposure in ERP refers to exposing yourself to the thoughts, images,
objects, and situaitons that make you anxious and/or start your obsessions.
While the Response Prevention, refers to making a choice not to do a
compulsive behavior once the anxiety or obsesions have been triggered. In
treatment, we had at least one hour of the day dedicated to independent
ERP. We were asked to actively find ways to trigger our obsessive thoughts
and keep ourselves from mitigating the resulitng anxeity with compulsions.
I would often spend my solo hour outside so that I could take my mask
off and enjoy the last bits of Chicago summer. Summers in Chicago are
heaven. 2020 was no exception, even with Covid. We may not have had street
festivals, concerts, dance parties, etc., but we still had bike rides,
picnics, the lake, and so much more. It was still a Chicago summer. But
with these precious summers come bees. Actually, wasps. But I’ll say bees
because I like that better and the concept still holds.
One morning while I was sitting outside during “exposure hour”, bees were
buzzing all around me. I could have gone inside but I wanted sunshine. So
I stayed put. The bees came closer and closer, and I felt myself gettng
nervous. My instinct was to sway them away, but I knew better. Swatting at
them would only agitate them. So I stayed still, breathed into the tension,
and eventually the bees went on their way.
This process mirrored what I was trying to do in therapy. When a distrubing
thought comes up, my instinct is to swat it away with compulsions. But that
only makes the thought come back stronger. So I sit with the thought, feel
the anxiety, and trust that it will run its course.” - Cristi López
López, a first-generation American of Dominican, Spanish, and Cuban descent, creates intricate compositions of female figures that evoke a sense of duality, intimacy, and frenetic calm. Her treatment of the figure is multifaceted and dynamic, and the women in her work possess a sense of power, confidence, and emotional vulnerability.
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