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Dani Toral

Maryland Institute College of Art

Corazón de Melón
acrylic on canvas

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Tell us about the work that you have submitted.

Corazon de Melon is a Spanish rhyming phrase very often used as an expression of love and endearment. The direct Spanish-to-English translation would be “melon of my heart.”

How do you describe your work and practice?

I am interested in the feeling of warmth, externally and internally, literal and emotional – a sense of fulfillment, like a bowl of soup or the embrace of a mother. I seek to reconnect with my Mexican heritage while also reconciling the expectations of whiteness that society pushes on me.

What motivated you to apply to the XL Catlin Art Prize?

The XL Catlin Art Prize is a great opportunity for young emerging artists like myself to connect with other fellow artists who are similarly passionate about their work. Knowing there are opportunities like the XL Catlin Art Prize has allowed me to be less fearful about my future as an artist.

What inspires your work?

I seek to balance my appreciation for and desire to reconnect with Mesoamerican history, Mexican folk art and Mexican architecture. I am attracted to my most uncomfortable memories and seek to bring pleasure to that discomfort through subtle humor.

danitoral.com