I first learned about Marilyn Rondón after she lost a fight in the ring. Along with a selfie, she shared her honest feelings about loss and losing. Then she got back to work painting large-scale cubist portraits; putting together her body positive zine, Dat Ass; and supporting her Latinx community in Miami through murals, music, and modeling. I instantly looked up to her as someone who could passionately be herself even while receiving life-crushing blows.
“To be 100 percent honest, it’s quite stressful,” Rondón says when asked what it’s like to be looked up to. “I feel a lot of pressure to be 100 percent all the time, [to] always show up as my best, always be reliable, always be relevant and relatable. I feel I stay true to myself but go through blocks and depression waves ’cause I feel I’m not doing enough.” Rondón is sympathetic to the haters too. Her response when she encounters them: “Hurt people hurt people.”
This week, you can see Rondón’s six-panel series at Screaming Sky, which will leave you with an afterimage to take everywhere, whether you remember Rondón’s meditative Old English text or her rendering of a woman’s face looking outward in all six panels. Rodón’s goal with her hard-lined, striking imagery is “to create work that lives on once my physical body and ‘soul’ are no longer attached to it.” I believe she’s doing just that—and 1000 percent more.