Ana Mendieta (Nov. 18, 1948 – Sept.r 8, 1985) was a Cuban American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist who is best known for her "earth-body" art work. Mendieta was born in Havana, Cuba to a family prominent in the country's politics and society. At age 12, in order to escape Fidel Castro's regime, Ana and her 14-year-old sister Raquelin were sent to the United States by their parents. Mendieta attended the University of Iowa where she earned a BA, an MA in Painting and an MFA in Intermedia under the instruction of artist Hans Breder. Through the course of her career, she created work in Cuba, Mexico, Italy, and the United States. Mendieta's art was bloody and sometimes ritualistic, inspired partly by the Vienna Actionists, but also by her own Catholic background. In the 1970s she created a powerfully visceral series of works about violence against women, in which she covered herself in blood and posed as victims of rape and sacrifice. Yet at the heart of Mendieta's art was a greater concern about the transience of life. Her tragic death at the age of 36, for a time, overshadowed her life's work.