She Plays the Jarocho
Staff Pick | Monthly Muse November 2021
She Plays the Jarocho (2012) by multimedia artist Sonia Romero makes me think of love and longing. The musician holds a small guitar featured in el son jarocho, a type of folk music from Veracruz, Mexico with Spanish (Andalusian and Canary Islander), African, and Indigenous roots. I love listening to son and imagine that the woman in the linocut print is professing her feelings to an unseen lover. With her strong back facing the viewer, she focuses on the person listening to her serenade on the other side of the fence. Flowers that bloom in the tall bush on the left reach through the slats of the picket fence. They are complemented by the falling flower print in the musician’s sundress. The fabric may reference the floral embroidery on black aprons worn in traditional ballet folklórico dance. With the wind gently blowing the blue clouds above, it looks like a perfect day to be in love.
Bridget R. Cooks
Professor of African American Studies and Art History, UC Irvine
Interim Associate Director, IMCA