“The idea of home instantly transports me to my childhood…It is a tiny home with a massive heart, built from love and toil of parents working multiple jobs. It is my mother in the sunlight of day on her knees laying a brick walkway for my brother and I to skip along, only later to be lost to foreclosure. For me, home and the domestic space continue to be a complex set of psychological instability as well as genuine gratitude for the very roof over my head, especially when others may not even have one.” —Brandy Trigueros
Featured in our Home Views exhibition, Brandy Trigueros’ There’s No Other Like Your Mother is a powerful exploration of the maternal subject and the domestic tradition. With photographs that explore psychological inner states in ways that are both compelling and nostalgic, Brandy’s exhibition is one we couldn’t wait to hear more about in our interview.
Tell us how you first connected to the Griffin Museum.
I’ve been following and a huge fan of the Griffin Museum for some time so it was really lovely to be able to meet with Paula Tognarelli while in Portland for Photolucida in 2019. Paula was so generous with her time and supportive of my work, that same year she selected a piece of mine for the Center for Photographic Art’s International Juried Exhibition. It is a tremendous honor to be a part of the 2021 Home Views exhibition at the Griffin Museum that Paula beautifully curated.
How do you involve photography in your everyday life? Can you tell us about any images or artists that have caught your attention recently?
I love looking at photographs and absorb them like a sponge, whether at the local bookstore or online, photography fuels my soul. If I am personally not making pictures, I am imagining, conceiving, and note taking by way of visual sketches with my camera. I do a lot of journaling and normally have a physical paper journal with me that I write, sketch, and collage in but more recently found I haven’t been keeping it up as a daily habit as I’d like to, so on days that run away with me I use a digital journaling app called Day One and before bed I take a few minutes to write and attach an image or video to.
I recently found the playful portrait, performance, sculpture, and installation work of the German artist, Thorsten Brinkmann, who is definitely in my wheelhouse ~ so inspiring. I would love to meet him someday and scavenge junkyards together!
Please tell us a little about your series There’s No Other Like Your Mother, and how it was conceived.
When I was 29, my mother passed away suddenly, leaving a gaping hole in my heart and sense
of self, as my identity was completely interlocked with hers. This was during a time in which I was also considering becoming a mother myself. A daily ritual of journaling helped process my emotions. A riot of reoccurring ambivalent thoughts surrounding the idea of motherhood began to seep onto the page, which was a visual invitation to follow curiosity. The psychological underpinnings of my desires and ambiguities of bearing my own child provided a road map for this self-portrait series, which is a personal exploration of feminine identity and the maternal subject.
Has there been a Griffin Museum exhibition that has particularly engaged or moved you?
Living in Los Angeles I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting the Griffin Museum or the countless exceptional exhibitions in-person so I rely on the virtual programming but top of mind, I found these exhibitions particularly moving: The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer by Amani Willett, the 2018 Arnold Newman Prize Exhibition, Gray Matters, and Aline Smithson’s Self & Others.
What is your favorite place to escape to?
The trees, a long indulgent bath, live musical performances, and The Museum of Jurassic Technology.
What is a book, song or visual obsession you have at the moment?
I’ve been particularly obsessed with mushrooms – reading, thinking about, and imagining fungal bodies and their underground networks as well as Prototaxites, the giant fungi of the Devonian period. My newest logo is even influenced by mushrooms. Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life is an eye-opening, informative book on fungi.
If you could be in a room with anyone to have a conversation, who would it be and what would you talk about?
A seemingly difficult question because there are several influential women, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Ada Lovelace, Virginia Woolf, and Remedios Varo but first and foremost, it would be my mother Sherryl, as there are a multitude of unanswered questions, shared laughter, and unfinished craftworks, I would give anything to sit and create and just be together.