Get to Know Lili La Artista

Liliana Navarro aka LordLili is a young Bay Area-based artist and activist who uses her paintings to depict brown women and chicano culture in the art space. As a term coined during the 1960s, Chicano Civil Rights Movement was a powerful movement that paved the way for Mexican-Americans the right to vote, unionize, have access to higher education and end the struggles of decolonization. It also birthed forthcoming movements that fought for gender equality, and literary/artistic revolutions which spoke to cultural rebirth.

“Brown Warrior” Acrylic on canvas.

In Liliana’s work, you’ll find Chicano as a recurring motif at the intersection of femininity and brown power, a theme that has gotten her considerable attention in the midst of today’s global cultural movements.

“Deandra” Acrylic on canvas.

NC: At what point did you realize your work was having an effect on people? Was this what you sought to accomplish as an activist?

LN: “The very first art show I was a part of was the moment I finally saw how my work effected people. Uploading the flyer I was like, “meh, maybe one or two people will recognize my work.” But the amount of people that were there to see my art really made me feel like I wasnt just doodling. People appreciate what I do. As an activist, my goal from the beginning was to show brown girls some representation in art.”

“Brown Skinned Girl” acrylic on watercolor paper.

As the daughter of a Zacatecas-born father and her mother from San Jose, Liliana’s culturally-fused upbringing would ultimately shape her artwork.  Her sisters have also inspired her work as being the sole subjects to a few of her most critically acclaimed pieces.

“The female energy was powerful in my house. Brown girls inspire me to paint. From my family to friends, the women I surround myself with are clever, strong and beautiful. Seeing them, seeing myself, I feel inspired to capture that essence in my paintings.” 

“La Xican@” Acrylic on canvas.

Liliana was compelled to push her cultural artwork forward after confronting her AP art teacher about her low scores.

“I went on to graduate with a B in that class, but that encounter is what made me strive to work & get the recognition my art deserves.”

NC: What has been your proudest moment as an artist thus far?

LN:“My proudest moment has to be my recent art show I was apart of on December 16th. My set up was just my three paintings, “Deandra”, “1998”, and “Divine Femeninity”. Having such a simple set up led for an even better reaction than I thought; everyone took so well to my art. To think I’ve only been doing this for about four years, I’m only going to keep growing & getting better.”

“La Mujer Con Una Rosa” acrylic and prisma colored pencils on cardboard.

Keep up with Lili and her latest artwork on social media @lordlili.