Oral history interview with Liliana Wilson, 2004, July 13-27
Wilson, Liliana, 1953-
Pinochet Ugarte, Augusto
Navarro, Mary Margaret
Recuerdos Orales: Interviews of the Latino Art Community in Texas
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 99 pages
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 55 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Liliana Wilson conducted 2004 July 13-27, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in Austin, Texas.
Wilson displays a slideshow of her works and discusses Disparecidos en el Cielo; The Gatekeepers; The Immigrants; Man Running from Himself; Girl and Red Fish; Self-Portrait; Organic Barbed Wire; The Fish Tree; The Wedding; Desperate Housewife; The Lovers; The Meaning of Life; Lies; Proposition 187; Luciano; Time; Shift; El dia en que le hicieron pedazos la corona; Casi Gomez; Man and Leaf, and others. Wilson also discusses her relationship with Gloria Anzaldua; her sister's kidnapping by the Pinochet regime; experiences winning art contests at primary school; her uncommon last name; her use of Catholic imagery; her bad experience teaching; her childhood in Valparaiso, Chile; the patriarchal qualities of Chilean culture; attending architecture school and then transferring to law; her father's death and the family's resulting financial struggles; her disdain for traditional political paradigms; Santiago during the 1973 coup by Augusto Pinochet; her apartment being raided by the Army; moving to America and working as an au pair; enrolling in Austin Community College; her color choices in her paintings; moving to San Francisco; her various jobs doing commercial art; her early grant from MACLA; her anti-social nature, and how Anzaldua's nature is similar; her various residences in San Francisco; her conversion to Buddhism; moving back to Austin and her love for its community; learning to promote her own work; painting nude forms; her disdain for certain Catholic ideologies; the painters which she considers influences, such as Bosch, Kahlo, and Klee; her inability to be recognized by museums; the masculine nature of art academia; her involvement in the San Antonio arts scene; and the positive qualities of the United States. Wilson also discusses Cynthia Perez, Mia Gonzales, Jesse Treviño, Rene Yañez, Pema Chödrön, Neil Wilson, Arturo Almeida, Mary Margaret Navarro, Marjorie Agosin, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Liliana Wilson, 2004, July 13-27. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
This interview is part of the series "Recuerdos Orales: Interviews of the Latino Art Community in Texas," supported by Federal funds for Latino programming, administered by the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. The digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Liliana Wilson (1953-) is an artist in Austin, Texas. Cary Cordova (1970-) is an art historian from Austin, Texas.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001