Sol Calero’s work revolves around the notions of ancestry, culture, and the transformation of meaning that visual symbols can undergo in society.
Implementing a wide range of media into her practice, Calero not only utilises traditional methods of art-making such as painting and drawing, but also experiments with found objects, fabric works, and site-based practices. She is interested in reflecting on the ambiguity of cultural signs, and how meanings can proliferate and change. Her work is concerned with the connotations that icons acquire in a political and societal context, and how this can affect themes of gender and identity.
Calero’s artistic creations are vibrant and tactile. Although at first impression they can appear bright and playful, they simultaneously broach serious political themes. This is illustrated in her vivid canvases of fruit. Intrinsically connected to Carmen Miranda, the popular Brazilian dancer and film star, these paintings are used to demonstrate how visual symbols can undermine the immediate aesthetic pleasure that is felt when first viewing the image. Through an appropriation of Latin American culture in the mid-twentieth century, the USA attempted to create an idealistic and utopian image of the countries therein that was connotative of an exotic paradise. This was done in part to reap the economic benefit from a proposed pan-American alliance. Calero’s practice scrutinises this marginalisation.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen