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By: Curt Anderson (Urban-Muse.com)

We've been very blessed to be good friends with Las Vegas artist Cuca Refugia, who had 4 pieces in our May show "The Beginning of the End." Cuca is a new single mother, and she took some time out of her day to talk about working with us for the show, her paintings, and her greatest work of art: her son Elon.

Urban-Muse.com July Juxtapoz Magazine Ad (On Stands now) featuring Cuca Refugia.

Whats something people probably don't know about you?

People probably don't know I don't like looking at art, I don't care to talk about it nor do I hang out with artists, at least not on a regular basis. People don't know alot about me, they probably don't know I stayed in a shelter. My family came out here to Las Vegas because San Jose and the Bay Area in general was making us struggle, it's ridiculously expensive. So we came out here with an opportunity. My stepdad's father lived out here and we stayed with him. We left everything behind and came with nothing but some blankets, a couple dufflebags and maybe enough money for some food and gas. Turns out his father had some alcohol issues and kicked us out the next day. So we had to scope out the city looking for a place to stay and fond Shade tree, we weren't there for long but to be honest with you, I liked it. I didn't care too much for the lack of privacy while taking a shower but at least I got to take a shower, and I got to eat. The ladies there were real nice too. To me that memory that not alot of people know really is just another day, there's nothing bad about it. The things people probably don't know about me are things they probably don't want to know. So we'll keep it like that ;]

How do you want people to feel when they see your paintings?

The message.

I want them to wonder why, I want them to say "Damn, I've felt that before", I want questions.

Bulletproof

Are you looking forward to creating art with Elon?

Hell yeah! I can't wait to get him some paints, I'm going to teach him all I know, but at the same time let him do what HE wants, whatever that may be, creatively.

Bulletproof

Do you think your aesthetic and meaning will change after the birth of your son?

Yes and no. I plan on painting things based around my son, the happiness he gives me, the life of him and how mine is revolved around his. At the same time I will always paint what I paint...but he will definitely bring another light to my work.

Tears. There's lots of them. Care to expand?

I'm going to be very honest with you, and it may make me sound like some emo woe is me artist but I think I've cried during about 75% of my paintings. Because of some relationship bullshit, and it's impossible to paint while being a blubbering mess so I snap out of it. But those tears are from me. If I'm going to cry, so is my work.

Big goals? Life and art.

My life is my son and raising him, as far as art it's a part of my life and I'll never stop. I can't stop. The only goal I have with that is to never stop, and to get better.

Bulletproof

Proudest moment (Elon of course), but other than that?

Ok, this has to do with my son again haha. I'm very proud of myself for handling everything I had to do on my own during pregnancy, it was hard to say the least and there were alot of obstacles but I took care of it all, by myself and defeated the odds.

Can you tell us about each of your four pieces for "The Beginning of the End" briefly?

 

Bulletproof

Bulletproof: I was going through a breakup, but this person was telling me things will work out, he kept me lingering and at the same time was cheating on me, and completely insulting me and putting me down, despite all the slandering and harsh words, despite the lying and betrayal I was still able to live my life, I was still able to PAINT, that makes me bulletproof.

 

Bulletproof

Drown your beliefs: That one is about suicide, I do not like or condone suicide and Im not trying to promote or glamorize it but it does exist. Rape exists, Abuse exists, Depression exists, and I believe it needs to be made aware. Suicide is not something to be ignored and that's why I paint around it sometimes.

 

Bulletproof

Wants and Needs: Everyone has their wants and we all have our needs and alot of times we don't know how to separate the two, and we get them confused. The swans are wants, the blood represents the negative aspect of those wants, the hearts are her needs and they are behind her, she's ignoring them so that she can fulfill her wants.

 

Bulletproof

Your Love: The moths are something I do not like, I'm deathly afraid of moths, but I know they're harmless, as a matter of fact I love caterpillars and used to raise them, those moths represent someones love I invested in. The female is crying because those moths made her sick, that love could be so good...but to her it's poison.

the beginning of the end

Can you tell us your feelings about "The Beginning of the End" and perhaps what the work you are showing might be able to say about this theme?

I'm excited to say the least, I'm so glad to be a part of this. It was very well put together and promoted and it's very rare to work with such an organized curator. As far as my work and the theme, Elon, my son is my new life and all that heartbreak being displayed in those paintings is coming to an end. But this is the beginning of that. I'm leaving my mark.

 

the beginning of the end

 

Any Regrets?

Sad to say but I didn't have any regrets until I was married. I always told myself I have no regrets, you learn from everything. But can't you learn from regrets too? Im learning to accept that regrets are just as common as mistakes. I regret he way my marriage was handled, I wasn't that great of a person, I could have done a better job, I could have been a better person. I'm a better person now, but some things didn't have to happen the way they did and I regret that.

If you could have anything in the world what would it be?

I have it. I have him, his name is Elon.

Bulletproof

 

If you want to see more of Cuca's work, keep an eye on her Urban-Muse profile here, and her Twitter.

Her remaining pieces "Bulletproof" and "Your Love" are available exclusively through Urban-Muse, and can be purchased directly through our store.

- Curt Anderson

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