Dana Caldera


Dana Caldera

Dana Caldera is a visual and installation artist working locally in the Houston Heights. Her work focuses on human interaction with deep roots in psychology and sociology. “I am interested in representing our experiences with others, specifically strangers. I explore the moments in a relationship where our impressions about others and our place in the community are forming. I work through mixed media and installation projects, often incorporating found photographs or a participatory human element to encourage thoughtful interaction with my artwork.” Dana has been working with found photography since starting her MFA and has continued to use it to help create narratives about the relationships among strangers, and to understand our place in the community. For this residency, Dana plans to explore a new idea where she creates one (or multiple) stencil based characters that can be spray painted in the style of street art that represent her or are in her likeness. Dana plans to explore adding these characters into intimate family photographs or other scenes where she does not belong in order to understand how it feels to invade or compliment the existing “community” in the found photographs.

Website / Instagram

People in Conversation #1-3: “One of the final series is presented here: People in Conversation #1-3. You can clearly see the tagged figures that I've added to the work, in one case completely covering one of the people in the original photograph."

"This work is odd. I clearly don't belong in the photos, evidenced by the size of my figure as slightly bigger or smaller than it should be, the color, and the style of my image. The resulting community feels forced. There is a tension between the invasive feeling of my figure in the composition and the pleasant expression on my face as I engage with people that don't even realize I'm there.”

“I went photo hunting at my favorite place for old photos in Houston at Texas Art Asylum. I decided on 5 sets of 3 photos featuring different themes: weddings, people in conversation, men only, posed family portraits, and intimate family portraits. A selection of men only pictured here while I was deciding on what final three images I wanted to go in the set.”

“Next I selected an image off my social media and began simplifying into a design for a stencil. I plan to use at least 3 different images of myself for the final project, perhaps more.”

“This week was really about proof of concept. Since I'll be tagging the original photos I needed to test my stencils and design. Here is a successful test (on top of a failed test) on a scanned copy of one of the photos.”

“I created two additional sketches for stencils from social media photos and ordered a bunch of spray paint.”

“Stencil making and checking compositions.”