Artist Statement

Familiar: BFA Drawing and Painting Exhibition, Gallery 100, Tempe, AZ

Flowers have long been a part of a rich visual symbolism throughout art history. Botanical symbolism derives from literature of antiquity, where plants were often used as metaphors for virtue and vice, aesthetic tools for interpreting religious beliefs, or depicted as attributes of the painting’s subject. In a similar vein, Ariana Enriquez uses flowers, plants, birds and insects to explore the binaries between human relationships and cycles in nature. Primarily working in oils, Enriquez creates detailed botanical paintings often with metal leaf detail. She instills her floral work with personal symbolic meaning, representative of emotions experienced by the artist. Her use of gold metal leaf is associated with notions of divinity, referring back to spiritual enlightenment experienced by audiences of High Renaissance art. Finding meditative and self-healing qualities in the outdoors, Arizona’s natural landscape serves as Enriquez’s largest source of inspiration. While she paints plants, flowers, birds, and insects that she comes upon day to day, they become reflections of her experiences, metaphors of her family and agents of identity.