Ana Mendieta (November 18. 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist who is best known for her “earth-body” art work.
Mendieta’s work was generally autobiographical and focused on themes including feminism, violence, life, death, place and belonging. Mendieta often focused on a spiritual and physical connection with the Earth, most particularly in her “Silueta Series” (1973–1980). The series involved Mendieta creating female silhouettes in nature – in mud, sand and grass – with natural materials ranging from leaves and twigs to blood, and making body prints or painting her outline or silhouette onto a wall.
In 1983 Mendieta was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. While in residence in Rome, Mendieta began creating art “objects,” including drawings and sculptures. She continued to use natural elements in her work.