"Calorías Vacías", 2023. Unframed: 14 x 17 inches (35.56 x 43.18 cm); Framed: 17 x 20 inches (43.18 x 50.8). Graphite and color pencils on bristol paper. Courtesy of the artist.
Sabrina Mendoza Malavé (b. 1996, Lechería, Anzoátegui, Venezuela) is based in Brooklyn, NY. Her art practice aims to build awareness around Venezuela’s socio-political unrest, offering a critical perspective on international and national power structures and their impact on people.
“Calorías Vacías”, Empty Calories in English, contains a composition similar to those The New York Times’ photos for Venezuela-related articles from 2016. Around that time, numerous media outlets capitalized on Venezuela’s socio-economic crisis by disseminating misinformation through sensationalist articles and tabloids, which played a crucial role in manipulating public opinion towards a narrative that deviated from reality, including many Venezuelans. Mendoza claims control over the imagery’s narrative which previously had the purpose of portraying Venezuela as a nation in decline with her message: "We do not eat from invasions, tabloids, or sanctions." This piece serves as a declaration against destabilizing tactics from international power structures.