Photo Courtesy of Brian Carranza
Senior Brain Carranza created a family portrait titled “Utopic Family” as a way to bring his family together because they can only meet once a year on New Year’s and not everyone always comes. His masterpiece, which took nine months to create, features a feast with his whole family as well as various easter eggs, hidden elements, related to particular family members.
Q: What is the inspiration behind the piece?
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were some of the great artists who put themselves and their lives in their art, so one day after going to the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, I was inspired to make an art piece that showed who I am and what my life is like. An important aspect in my life is my family and more importantly unity in my family. The unity in my family inspired me to create a fun masterpiece.
Q: What was the process of creating the piece like?
It started in a little green notebook. I sketched out the arch in the back and two rectangles, one for the table and one for the stairs. I counted the number of people in my family, and it ended up being 55 people, including my family, my grandparents, and my uncle and aunt who sadly passed away. I drew 51 circles, and four circles on frames, which are for my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. After that, I put names on every circle to remember where everybody would be placed, and I based it off of who everybody’s closest with (of course, I put the ones who don’t get along together), and the adults are always on one end and the “kids” on the other. Once I planned it all out, it was time to draw it on a big board, and nine months later, my masterpiece was created.
Q: What was your family’s reaction to the piece?
They absolutely loved it! They loved how I was able to include the whole Familia Lopez Tinejero (my mom’s side of the family).
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the piece?
My favorite aspect of the drawing is that I was able to put everybody in the family in one picture. Mostly, everybody lives in Mexico, and my family and one of my uncles’ families live here in the U.S. Here, we don’t live close to my uncle, and in Mexico, they don’t all live close either, so New Year’s is always a special time because mostly everybody shows up and celebrates. It’s very difficult for everybody from here to go to Mexico, so this art piece allowed me to put everybody there together, making one great, big, happy family.