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i dream of a land i do not know by Josie Licavoli


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About the work

The painting depicts a brown woman laying peacefully on a blanket amidst a lush field of green and white flowers, her figure blending harmoniously with the natural surroundings. Above her, four suns with closed eyes hover in the sky, casting a dreamlike aura over the scene. The words “please be within my reach” are written, expressing a heartfelt longing for connection to her ancestors’ homeland, the Philippines, a place she has never experienced but which deeply influences her existence.

This artwork not only explores themes of identity and belonging but also challenges societal perceptions of the brown female body. While the woman simply rests in nature, her presence may be misconstrued as an invitation for something more, highlighting the prevalent issue of sexualization faced by women of color. Through the juxtaposition of serenity and underlying tension, the artist prompts viewers to consider the complexities of cultural identity and the impact of societal stereotypes.

In creating this piece, Licavoli invites contemplation on the intersection of personal heritage, cultural identity, and societal expectations. It serves as a poignant reminder of the need for empathy, understanding, and respect for diverse experiences, while also celebrating the resilience and beauty of the human spirit.

Josie Licavoli is a painter and art educator based in San Francisco. Her work explores diverse cultural identities, drawing from her mixed-race heritage. Inspired by San Francisco, the California coast, music and literature, her work delves into human experiences, merging personal introspection with collective experience. Josie’s art invites viewers to intimately engage with the rich fusion of Filipino and American culture, as well as glimpses of city life and moments in nature.

Artwork: i dream of a land i do not know, 2024 by Josie Licavoli
10 x 20 inches Gouache, soft pastel and collage on paper

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