Photo by Kate Dash

"Lili’s work is about representation. Her paintings depict brown people in celebratory ways; bathed in gold rays like the Virgin of Guadalupe, or surrounded by roses. Her subjects are beautiful, powerful and present. A hint of the lowrider culture she grew up in runs through her work. 

She loves the Italian painter Caravaggio, who was known for pulling people off the streets to model for his romantic works. Lili also uses people she knows, she has painted friends and loved ones.

“I want to paint people who come off very strong and very powerful; and more specifically very brown. I love being able to depict people who are unapologetically themselves, in their skin.I paint brown women so my little cousins, or little brown girls everywhere can look and say,

“oh, that looks like me.”