“In Reference To; Mexican Women of New York” combines all of these elements by exploring how a group of 100 Mexican women who immigrated to the U.S. at different points in their lives, went through the process of choosing which personal objects, among all of their belongings, were important enough to take with them on their journey. These precious objects are literally references to their past lives, backgrounds, cultures, and femininity. These women treasure their objects not only because they represent their livesback in Mexico, but also because they are the only real piece of the past that can be held onto as reminders by their future generations. Each woman and her object tell a unique
story; taken together, they form a visual narrative that has a life of its own.
The influence behind the format and composition of the women’s’ portraits and the photographs of the objects come from two very different sources. The women were photographed in a square format against a white background as a reference to the Identification (ID) photo. The influence to feature the objects isolated against a white background comes from the way pre-Columbian archeological artifacts are cataloged and celebrated throughout Mexico.
The women featured in this project live in New York and span a wide range of ages and socio-economic backgrounds. The youngest girl in the project is 8 years old and the oldest is 73. They come from 17 states in Mexico including: Chihuahua, Distrito Federal, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala and Veracruz. These women
work in a wide variety of professions including: business executives, students, artists, house keepers, journalists, nannies, teachers, personal assistants, hair stylists, secretaries, and sales representatives, just to name a few.
The objects of this series are also references to the connection of these women and their beloved ones: grandmother’s portrait, husband’s picture, clothes worn by her son during the immigration trip, picture frame given by best friends to commemorate the immigration journey, address book with contact information of friends from her childhood, a bottle of Sangrita to accompany tequila while chatting with her father,
document bag given by her mother, China Poblana skirt embroidered with her children’s help and an engagement ring.
The series of 100 portrait and 100 objects is available on line at www.alejandraregalado.com with English and Spanish texts.
Alejandra Regalado was born in Mexico City and currently lives and works in New York. She received a Masters Degree in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, a Masters in Communications by Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and a BA in History of Art by Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico. She has been awarded with the Individual Artist Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and 1st place Professional Photographer at Festival Internacional de la Imagen, Mexico. Alejandra has been an artist in residency of the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago in 2013, Latin American Arts Festival, Boise State University and SPARC program, Queens in 2012. The New York series of In Reference To Project has been exhibited in solo and group shows in New York, Idaho and Illinois. The project In Reference To... is part of the Artspire program of New York Foundation for the Arts. Alejandra will continue to work in her ongoing series In Reference To in different cities around the United States.