MCXT // Monica Canilao + Xara Thustra's "Divination"
MCXT is a creative partnership between Monica Canilao and Xara Thustra, born from a joint desire to communicate care and empowerment. Their collaborative work combines and compliments each other's individual style and voice, making space for their joint need to create a vibrant, interactive and accessible world through art and activism. MCXT collaborations have emphasis on celebration, self worth, and empowerment resulting in murals, performance, happenings, installation, painting, and film in both traditional and non-traditional spaces.
Their individual histories lend to their compatibility for collaboration. Canilao is a Bay Area native with a deep investment in home, community, and the passage of time. These recurring themes are interwoven into her daily life and throughout her art practice. Fascinated with the imprint people leave behind, she utilizes recycled materials in both her art practice and personal life generating a personal and living history. This visual record from salvaged objects and weathered images results in work spanning from massive paper and fabric structures, site-specific installations, murals, meticulous paintings, mixed media works, jewelry constructions, sculptures, costuming and performance art. Her practice and collaborations create a visual vernacular that resonates beyond verbal and individual differences and weaves her experiences with physical remnants of past lives.
Thustra’s hand provided many of the signature visual images of the anti-displacement and anti-war struggles of the 1990s. Inseparable from resistance and queer community in San Francisco, their work first appeared as graffiti during the height of the first dot-com boom. This led to artistic collaboration with and in support of neighborhood organizations such as the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition, and the Coalition on Homelessness. Their work evolved into elaborate performance, filmmaking, and collaborations including now legendary Bay Area art events and spaces such as: the Anti-Capitalist Fashion Show, the 949 Market Squat, the band ManhaterRR, Clarion Alley Mural Project and the Mission Neighborhood Health Center.