Margarita Cabrera’s work focuses on household appliances made by maquiladoras, sweatshop laborers in Mexican towns bordering the United States. Cabrera, a Mexican-American artist, purchases these products in the U.S. and uses them to create hand-sewn soft sculptures.
After taking apart the appliance, she would recreate parts in vinyl and thread and reincorporate them back into the original. Also on view at the exhibition were vinyl quilts: in each square appeared an appliance distilled down to a flat graphic. The result of Cabrera’s work is sculpture that functions on many levels. Cabrera’s process mirrors the original labor put into the appliances and comments on the injustices of border politics. Cabrera pays tribute to the Pop and feminist movements of the 1960’s and 70’s including Oldenberg’s soft sculptures, Hesse’s biomorphic work, and Warhol’s silkscreens.