Derek ReynosoMorgantown, West Virginia

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (ASPN) 2019

Derek Reynoso is currently a student a West Virginia University, he is studying to obtain his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics. His work is influenced by gender roles and how they impact people in different environments.

Derek has lived in urban areas the majority of his life, where art is a privilege that many people cannot afford. Luckily, he has been surrounded by countless organizations that their main purpose is to bring the joy of art to those who cannot afford lessons or materials. Derek has been influenced by the opportunities he has been given and his goal is to work alongside other organizations with similar values. He plans to study arts administration and understand the mechanics of non-profits and create an environment where under privileged students can have the ability to create.

Machismo is a term that is used to describe an exaggerated amount of manliness, it is predominantly used to describe Latino men. In many cultures Latinos are supposed to fall into this machismo mold. Men need to be strong, brave, courageous, and provide for their family. If you don’t appeal to this culture you fail as a man and are ostracized in your community. I struggled with my sexuality from a very young age and the fear of being abandoned by my family loomed over me. I was an outsider among my brothers, while they wrestled and enjoyed football I took on more “feminine” hobbies such as baking, gardening, and sewing.

Flowers are inherently considered feminine. Men give women flowers and women are repeatedly compared to flowers in literature, movies, and media. Using flowers, I’ve began to explore gender roles and what societies decide what a man or a woman should do. By creating flowers, I am exploring my sexuality as well as exploring frail masculinity and becoming in touch with the more feminine side that I have pushed away for so long.