An expressive exemplar of Firalei Baez’s body of work, Patterns of Resistance from 2015 is a synthesis of the artist’s interests in nature, beauty, and identity within the African diaspora. A mélange of vibrant color, allusions to flora and the ocean, and black female subjectivity, the present work is arresting for the variations in texture and line, which are resplendent throughout the composition, as well as its subject’s piercing gaze, which forges an irrepressible tension. Describing the conceptual origins of her oeuvre, the artist explained, “I grew up hearing stories of Lilith-like wild women from the forest, Ciguapas, told to me as a warning: you can’t be too wild, too much of nature, don't be too independent. Everything that’s inscribed onto that figure becomes the antithesis of ideal femininity” (the artist in conversation with Hồng-Ân Trương, The Brooklyn Rail, November 2018). Rebelling against these repressive cultural constructions, Patterns of Resistance insists on the beauty of female agency and subjectivity, likening it to the crashing of waves or the inevitability of flowers blooming in spring.