Maria Raquel Cochez
Maria Raquel Cochez was born in Panama in 1978. In 2002, she received a BFA in Fibers from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA. In 2007, she moved to Atlanta, GA where she works mainly on conceptual photography, performance art, video, art objects, and painting. Her work is an elaborate story of the battle with self acceptance, executed through auto-referential, autobiographical, and biographical accounts parallel to this universal struggle.
Cochez has had several solo exhibitions in Panama, El Salvador, and the United States. She has participated in group shows throughout Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States, including the 7th Central American Biennial in Nicaragua in 2010. Her work has been reviewed in numerous publications across Latin America and the U.S. She has lectured and taught workshops in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama. In 2010, her work was acquired by the Ortiz Gurdián Art Center in Nicaragua, a museum housing one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary art from Central America.
My work is an exploration of the human experience existing within all the norms established around food, concepts of beauty, self esteem, and our own personal, sometimes skewed and often limiting definitions of these. Through a variety of media I examine the actions and perceptions of myself and others reminiscent of my own behaviors and thoughts dictated by an eating disorder and body image dysmorphia. It investigates the psychology behind the forming of beauty ideals in childhood, the cultural differences in beauty canons and their subjectivity, the self harm involved in distorted conceptions of the body, the sexual dynamic surrounding bodies not currently celebrated in the media, and the impact that distorted relationships with food can have on all of these premises. I examine the act of binge eating, the physical settings in which it happens, and the secrecy behind it; the cycle of loosing and gaining weight and the physical consequences of this symptom of the condition. My work is an elaborate story of the battle of self acceptance executed through auto-referential, autobiographical, and biographical accounts parallel to this universal struggle.