Afterwords: Bite

Maria Eugenia Maya 
→MFA Sculpture 2018
Lima is in a desert, it never rains, and dust accumulates easily. The Toyota my dad drove had fleece fabric seats. When I rode in his car, I liked to sit facing backwards, chewing the fleece and inhaling the small dusty particles from the soft cloth.

I’d gnawed on the feet of my Barbie dolls so much they looked like squid tentacles. They were made of a type of rubber I couldn’t help but chew. I seldom cared if my dolls were destroyed. I would constantly give them makeovers. I even turned a blond baby doll into a rabbit by shaving her head, painting her face, and giving her Easter Bunny ears. The only toys I would try to keep in their original form were my My Little Ponies. They were my favorite, and back then they still looked like chubby horses and not stylized, hyper-feminine aliens. They all came in pastel colors, and had symbols on their butt cheeks. Some were even scented. The only one I disfigured was a glow in the dark pony made of a flexible, almost translucent plastic. I cut a slit were his lips parted and fed him tiny trinkets.

My guiltiest biting pleasure was varnished wood. There had always been a piano in my home and I’ve been told I asked for lessons. Once, when I sat down to practice I double-checked I was alone and gave a bite to the wooden shelf that supported the sheets of music. The sensation was delightful. I allowed myself to give it another bite before I stopped. Every time I sit down to play I see the tiny bite marks. Today my teeth would leave much larger scars.

Bite, 2018, pigmented plaster and copper, 10 x 6 x 5 in.