Liz Flores ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’
Vertical Gallery is very proud to present ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá,’ a solo exhibit featuring Chicago-based painter and muralist Liz Flores.
‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá,’ which runs from Dec. 10-31 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, launches Flores into the next phase of her ascent, embracing new shapes, textures and patterns that expand the scope of her signature abstract figurative portraits. The 14 new pieces featured in the show also emphasize Flores’ evolution as a visual storyteller, revealing a deeper, more profound sense of self — a direct outgrowth of the artist’s exploration of her family’s roots. Flores will attend the opening reception, taking place Saturday, Dec. 10 from noon to 6:00 pm.
Flores conceived and created ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’ in the wake of traveling to her mother’s native Cuba and and to Mexico where her father’s family is from, the latter journey undertaken in partnership with the art and travel project The Jaunt. These experiences radically transformed the U.S.-born Flores’s relationship to the cultural forces and traditions that shaped her from afar.
“I’ve traveled to Mexico in the past to see family, but this was my first time visiting Cuba. When visiting these two places, I experienced an emotional pull. It might be the food or the language, but I felt at home and nostalgic,” Flores explains. “‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’ is inspired by those feelings of nostalgia, the clash between tradition and modern life, as well as the search for belonging and identity”.
The title ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’ — which translates from Spanish as “From neither here nor there” — is a common expression among people coming to terms with the complexities and contradictions of their multicultural makeup, Flores notes.
“This work is a direct reaction to the question ‘What are you?’” she says. “In the U.S., you don’t always feel like you are American enough. But then at the same time you may not always feel Latina enough. You live in the in-between. It’s a struggle to respond when someone asks ‘What are you?’ because it’s such a struggle to define yourself. You feel torn between three different identities — American, Mexican and Cuban — and realizing that you’re a little bit of everything. It’s almost a completely new identity that’s just for you.”
The self-taught Flores earned her bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship from Illinois State University, abandoning the corporate world after three years to pursue a career in art. A 2019 mural for Sephora (still on view inside Chicago’s Water Tower Place) set in motion a series of collaborations with brands like Lululemon, Target and the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Flores has also participated in group shows across the Chicagoland area, including Vertical Gallery’s ‘It Was All a Dream’ and ‘Atomic Number 13’ (both from 2021) as well as this past April’s 9-Year Anniversary Show.
‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’
December 10 - 31, 2022
Opening day: December 10, noon-6pm
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago