Roberta Marrero was born and grew up on an island, Gran Canaria, inserted in a culture, the Spanish, which in the beginning of the seventies was also insular, obscurantist and pious. At least, she remembers it thus.
But that girl’s mind tore down all that fence, and with a genuinely postmodern spirit she began to record in her imaginary archive a peculiar iconographic blurring between stigmata and pop idol, between holy cards or sacred hearts and comics’s superheroines, or between saints she liked and the most freak characters of the television series.
He saw the wonderful caught equally in devotional figures or in the Disney worlds, to which she had little access within the spartan environment that she had to live. However, she didn’t feel much empathy for the boring cinderellas and snow-whites, but rather for the witches, cruellas and other villains of these tales.
She was able to make the best with the folklore sorrounding her childhood, and the pagan background she intuitively discovered in Catholic rites would draw a continuous line until her fascination with alchemy, Masonic motives, obscurantism, Aleister Crowley and punk.
B movies she saw in the neighborhood cinema also dented in her memories, whose monsters came to increase an assortment of images that would never leave her, which would be used in her graphic novels, sign pastiches, collages or photomontages, which show as much as they hide from their own life.
Because using masks and alter egos has become her way of talking about herself. Andy Warhol in his most sinister vein, the non-place in the world of the glamorous transgender Candy Darling, bizarre creators like Ed Wood or pop martyrs like Amy Winehouse …, offer different facets of complex personalities with which Roberta has been composing His own image.
A changing image but always based on selfhood, on being oneself. And knowing since she was a little girl (a transsexual child) that the only really misleading and pernicious mask is that of “normality”, she has been attracted her entire life by the ambiguous, mutant, unclassifiable characters, queens of transformism, in whose company she has felt welcomed , from Baron Ashler, Mazinger Z’s hermaphrodite, to the extravagant Divine.
She has believed in improbable loves between the cannibal and the vegetarian or the Martian and the human, has identified with the ontological doubts of the robots with throbbing heart, with all those who don’t feel like the others see them.
He has been reborn as a green baby, rewriting her story as a graphic diary. She has turned the glove of her own identity, also propelling a setback to heteronormativity inscribed in the history of art, in advertising, in daily life.
And in that game of mirrors she has opposed the lethal man to the femme fatale, has confronted Charles Manson with Hello Kitty, has made of the souls in purgatory allegories of the masochistic woman, has merged the Warhol’s torso photographed by Richard Avedon with a Saint Sebastian pierced by arrows.
Practitioner of vandalism, she has contrasted the power’s rhetoric camouflaged both in art and in the propagandistic grammar that feeds idolatries, whether pop, religious or political.
He argues that failure is substantial to art (be an artist, be a loser). To be an artist is to feel a loser because the creation is born out of a need, of the obsession that in each search reveals itself as an epiphany, it is exorcism in perpetuity, it is trying to find a place even accepting a wandering constitution.
“Roberta Marrero: dibujos y collages”
en galería Cromo de Barcelona
until 9th June 2017
where she also presented her book El bebé verde (Lunwerg, 2016)
This collage of “We can be heroes” series is included in the exhibition
“David Bowie is” (produced by Victoria and Albert Museum),
Museu de Disseny de Barcelona,
since 25th May 2017