Meet the artist behind our latest Artist edition lens cloth, Sacha Raps.
Sacha ('sah-tcha') Carlos - Raps is a Filipina immigrant and self-taught artist and educator based in Brooklyn. She specializes in glassworks, printmaking and illustrations. Through figurations and visual narratives, she creates memoiric totems that embrace the kaleidoscopic inner self and the absurd.
This piece functions as an instinctive storytelling exercise, where each 'window' offers visual hints, allowing observers to resonate with my point of view while infusing their own. There is no set orientation for the piece. Turn it upside down and you’ll find a new story at play. This creates a joint interaction that nurtures empathy and enhanced comprehension between the viewer and myself.
I have a curiosity about delving into the shared emotional connections we have with both natural surroundings, constructed spaces, surrealist vignettes and objects that hold strong metaphors.
Above all, I made it vibrant, punchy, and brimming with striking colors ensuring you never misplace your lens cloth in the depths of your bags or pockets or in the proverbial voids.
Your creative journey is influenced by your immigration experience, oral stories and familial rituals. Can you delve deeper into how these elements shape your work?
First-generation immigrants often grapple with the choice between fulfilling basic needs and pursuing their passions. For me, creating something unconventional, like a colossal shrimp without the need for justification, exudes a sense of empowerment.
Many of my pieces serve as poignant reminders of specific memories from home and my journey to find belonging in this new American life. I consistently strive to honor the intricate and unpredictable facets of our inner selves, while also challenging conventional notions of home and space.
During the pandemic, I embarked on a project, crafting a zine and a collection of pillowcases featuring five local Filipino legends. Although I encountered versions of these stories in my upbringing, it was fascinating to engage in conversations with family and friends back home, discovering the diverse interpretations of these narratives.
Working with glass as my chosen medium holds a captivating duality. Firstly, there is a scarcity of Filipino artists specializing in glasswork. Additionally, as a material, glass embodies qualities of delicacy, resilience, strength, and transparency. This lends itself as a poignant metaphor, symbolizing the fragility and adaptability of one's own identity.
Through teaching, I strive to promote diversity and inclusivity in the art world. I aim to make art more accessible. My goal is to empower individuals by providing opportunities to express perspectives and narratives through art since it has sustained me in such a way.
If you could invite any historical figure to collaborate on an art project, who would it be and why?
I'm eager to collaborate with Elsa Schiaparelli because she embodies two of my faves: surrealism and fashion. Yet, if the realm of magic and time travel were a possibility, my sincerest wish would be to collaborate with my family. I don't even need to bring the departed back to life! Due to various challenges like documentation, visas, and financial constraints from starting from scratch, we haven't been physically together in more than a decade. Creating something with them would be incredibly meaningful. Uniting our creative energies to pursue a shared vision and crafting a lasting piece would be the realization of a cherished dream. This creation would serve as a meaningful totem, forever commemorating our collective effort and connection.
100% of proceeds from this lens cloth will be donated to Guide Dog Foundation. What influenced your decision in choosing them as the charity partner and how does it resonate with your artistic vision?
As artists, we believe in the power of vision, both literal and metaphorical. We understand the profound importance of sight in appreciating and creating art. The NY Guide Dog Foundation’s work resonates with me on a fundamental level, as they empower individuals to experience the world in a way many of us take for granted. This partnership reflects my belief that art has the power to transcend boundaries and create positive change in the lives of others.
Can you share some of your favorite NYC Filipino restaurants?
OK, so these are not really restaurants but if you ever want to go on a Filipino culinary adventure I highly recommend keeping an eye on the following Filipina chefs when they do pop ups:
Charisse Ledres’ boodle fights (@Lamisa.Events)
Erika Costa’s grilled masterpieces (@Patikim.Nyc)
Frances Tagira for the first very Philippine Omakase in NYC called Trust Bae (@ChefFrances)
Favorite Covry frames?
I love my Pollux frames but I can't wait to get my hands on ANY of the COVRY x SANZO pairs! I plan on having one of them with my prescription as a birthday present for myself but I haven’t chosen which one!