Title of Work

The Blueprint

Graduation Date



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Date of Exhibition


Title of Exhibition


Type of Work


Short Description

Melissa Rodriguez (b. 1998), Orlando, FL

My relationship to Latina culture is complex. Raised in the U.S. by Colombian parents, my cultural identity was largely shaped by longstanding visual tropes reinforced through western media - brown skinned women adorned with red lipstick, gold hoops, the ruffled blouse. Aside from my familial experience and relationship with other second-generation Latinas, these representations were my only Latinx references.

My work explores these contrasts through a series of satirical, performative portrayals of Latina women constructed in the guise of advertising campaigns and entertainment promotions. Intended to both indicate and challenge the subjugation of cultural identity through defiant reclamation, these multidimensional visuals depict the uneasy dichotomy between American and Latin cultural identity.

Further tapping into the inaccuracies associated with the artificial umbrella term Pan-Latin - suggesting a false commonality between all Latin American cultures - these representations seek to both acknowledge and counter the one-dimensional sexual, exotic image of naturalized and immigrant Latinxs produced in popular culture. As a collection, these works provoke questions connected with the struggles faced by Latina women in the U.S as we explore the complex nature of representation and its effects on the formation of individual self-perception and identity.


33 cm x 33 cm


Archival pigment print

Date of Online Publication



Copyright 2021, Melissa Rodriguez. Reproduced with permission. The artists and/or collaborators who contribute to the Rollins College Student Art Gallery and Archive retain the rights to their own works. In making these collection materials available, Rollins College does not grant permission to reproduce or redistribute them, in part or in full. The College does not own the copyright to any of the materials, cannot grant any requests for permission to reproduce them, and will forward reproduction requests to the artists and/or collaborators.


Latina, Latinx art, culture, Latinx culture, cultural identity, identity, Latin America, Latin American cultures, Columbia, print, archival pigment print, race, pop culture, stereotypes, representation, satire, entertainment, advertising, photography


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