Sabrina Marques’ work uses storytelling to explore memory, place, and politics. Her paintings are part personal history and part political commentary, employing magical realism and anthropomorphized creatures within surreal, invented landscapes. Marques’ mother fled Cuba for the United States in the years following Castro’s revolution, and at a young age, she became aware of humor’s ability to provide solace in the face of hardship. Using both humor and absurdity to tackle more painful issues, her characters become stand-ins for the characters of my family’s past. They inhabit landscapes based on her grandfather’s ranch and on her family’s ancestral home in Camagüey. They tell the stories, both mundane and monumental, of her family’s struggles under the Castro regime; they describe fantastical landscapes and relationships inspired by the oral tradition of her family; they collage present, remembered, described and invented experiences and serve to visually unify this lost history with her present life. She often ask herself if a story's "truth" can be more deeply understood when the line between fact and fiction is blurred? She longs for and obsesses over a place once known and then lost, and in some ways, only found in the imagination. The humorous portrayal of figures in my work subversively articulates dissatisfaction with a regime that censors art while also revealing the shortcomings of an ideological government.
Sabrina Marques’ has had recent solo exhibitions at Yale University and Whittier College, and group exhibitions at Geoffrey Young and Morgan Lehman Gallery. She has received residencies fellowships from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, The Vermont Studio Center and The Studios of Key West. Her work has been selected for the Radius Program at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and in 2018 she received a Connecticut Commission for the Arts Fellowship. Marques has a BA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from The Yale School of Art. She is an Assistant Professor of Painting at Western Connecticut State University.