Momentary artist Yvette Mayorga creates an intricate world in pink

Momentary artist Yvette Mayorga creates an intricate world in pink
April Wallace

Wandering into the galleries at the Momentary, guests will encounter a space with even more pink than the average young girl’s bedroom. A pink hanging figure, pink bicycle, pink plastic toy car, pink trees that have arms and legs with houses for heads.

And the paintings — yes, also largely pink — are done in a thick hand that makes it appear like the decoration upon a cake.

Yvette Mayorga’s “What a Time to Be” is on display at the Momentary contemporary art space in Bentonville now until May 21. The exhibit is free, and no ticket is required.

Mayorga is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. Her works create intricate worlds in response to Utopian visions of immigration and belonging.

The narratives take form through a fusion of Rococo iconography, contemporary images of militarization, confectionery aesthetics and consumer objects, according to the Momentary website. Mayorga’s practice is shaped by her experience as a first-generation Latinx artist and her parents’ migration from Jalisco, Mexico, to the U.S.

The sumptuous and excessive decoration that marks her projects is inspired by the domestic and colonial religious spaces she navigated transnationally as an adolescent.

Yvette Mayorga answered these three questions by email while traveling for upcoming projects.

Congratulations on creating this first solo museum exhibit of yours. I love your frosted style and the found objects you’ve incorporated, especially the gummy bears and the eyelashes. What are some of your inspirations for making the works in “What a Time to Be”? Did you make each piece separately and then group them together for this exhibit, or did you make them all together with the exhibit in mind (chicken or egg)? What were you hoping would be the overall effect? And did any of that change as you began to work on it?

In my solo exhibition “What a Time to Be,” I combine images of family, found objects, ‘90s nostalgia, moments of Midwest life, and my signature pink and frosted style to interrogate the art historical canon and the meaning of belonging.

From elaborate collage portraits of family members posed to resemble 17th-century Rococo paintings to sculptures that weave together symbols of family and memory, to a reimagined installation of my bedroom from the ‘90s, I push beyond my comfort zone in my first solo museum presentation to introduce new, original works that interrupt the landscape of art history.

The exhibition’s title speaks to the many lives lived and the privileges and upheavals that have come with surviving in our contemporary life.

What’s your experience been like putting work on display here in Bentonville? Has anything surprised you about showing art here?

I had a great time spending an entire month installing at the Momentary and living in Bentonville. It felt really special to spend time getting to know the team at the Momentary while also exploring Bentonville and getting to know the community.

What do you hope viewers will get out of the experience of seeing What a Time to Be? What do you hope they will notice, pick up on, or take away?

I hope viewers feel like they are entering my world when they step into the immersive installations of pink, relief, architectural and intricate dimensions. And that they come out of the show learning more complex stories and narratives about my history. I also hope that young generations will feel inspired for them to also believe they can be an artist one day.



‘What a Time to Be’

WHEN — On view through May 21

WHERE — The Momentary, 507 SE E. St., Bentonville

COST — Free


Categories: Galleries