Ana Mendieta was an American performance and video artist born in 1948 in Havana, Cuba. The family moved to the United States when Ana Mendieta was 13 years old. She studied in the Intermedia area at the University of Iowa in the late 1960s. In the mid-1970s she was teaching for a few years art at Henry Sabin Elementary School in Iowa City, Iowa. Much of Mendieta's work had a feminist political message. She made an abrupt change to performance art in 1972 and most of her interventions, performance pieces and cine films were made between 1972 and 1978. A common theme in her performance art was violence against the female body. She often went for the shock factor in representing sexual abuse and many of her performances involved significant quantities of animal blood. Later Mendieta moved on to leaving her mark on the environment, most particularly in her Silueta pieces which typically involved carving her imprint into sand or mud, making body prints or painting her outline onto a wall. She died in September 1985 in New York from a fall of a 34th apartment floor.