THE COME UP

VAVI MAMI

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The first time I discovered Vanessa’s work was through instagram. Her first  NOT UR BABY art benefit  was a huge success and the work from her show flooded my timeline for a good week. I wasn’t mad though, Vanessa has raw talent. Her art is in your face, always has message, and she goes super hard for other queens. So when we were choosing women to feature for our #QueenseeQueen segment on the blog, choosing Vanessa was a no brainer. I really respect what she has done for women in the community and what she continues to do with her NOT UR BABY art shows and I feel like EVERYONE  should know about it.  So I would like to introduce you all to Vanessa Vigil aka @vavimami.

 

Tell me about your artistry and what exactly do you do?

I was born an artist, there is no alternate thing that can be given or taken from me to stop me creating. I can’t live a normally functioning life without my form of expression (trust me I’ve tried, it wasn’t cute). Them 100+ crayon boxes used to have me so hyphy all day.

What inspires you to create? Does living in the Bay Area have an impact on your art?

I’m from Antioch, so it’s kind of hard to meter exactly how much the Bay Area impacts my art, because I’ve been here my whole life. I am grateful for the open arms and minds of the Bay Area to allow me to practice the content of my work with so much support. The Oakland community has been a huge part of my nurturing and growth.
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 “Betty Boob” by Vanessa Vigil 
Women are by far my largest influence.

 “From the physical strengths we can endure to the internal strengths all women go through. We are such powerful moving beings, it would be impossible for me not to be highly influenced.”

 

You celebrate female nudity in some of your art why is that?

I often celebrate the female nudity because I am drawn to it. I am drawn to the skin that pushes through the storms, and still glows. Soft curves and persuasive form, the same body that connects this world and another with LIFE. Magical. As an artist, its important for me to convey to my audience (which consists of all genders) what its like to look upon a woman from another woman. Too often we see women in a MAN’S perspective. How a woman appreciates woman, how women love women, how women understand women, is what I hope to give a hint of understanding to, to those who forgot or don’t understand.

– under my perspective of course.
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Photo courtesy of Mecca Media

Tell us about NOT ur BABY. How was the idea to start this art show born?

Not Ur Baby is a women dominant show and benefit for the fight against human trafficking. Giving space for women of the community to come together and express themselves with their art. The purpose is really just to give a positive space and awareness. Its not everyday you are in a female dominant space, and its not everyday you hear/learn about human trafficking.
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The title comes from a space of reclaiming, these women are killing it in whatever medium they are presenting. From a culture that can still seem like we need men to depend on or claim us to be of importance. They don’t need anyone to be who they are, they are Not Ur Baby. Also has a double play on a strong message to those that traffic kids. The average age of a victim is 12 years old. These children are NOT Ur Baby to take under any circumstance. There are over 40+ women participating in the show. Mediums range from visuals artists (painters, photographers, mixed medium) to booths and services (barber, nail artists, online magazines) and performance artists (rappers, singers, DJs). So be prepared to come through, get yo nails done and hair braided, all around good vibes. Much love to the Oakland Terminal for allowing me (again) to hold this show in their space. March 26th 1pm – 7pm. Free and all ages. Bring yo kids, bring yo grandma, bring yo brotha. Its going to be a beautiful day in Oakland.

 

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