A native of Venezuela, Lorena Morales graduated from Rafael Urdaneta University with a degree in Business Administration before immigrating to the United States and studying at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 2011, she was awarded a scholarship from The Carlos Cruz-Diez foundation and the Glassell School to participate in the Advance Seminar in Contemporary Art: The Doors or Perception. Lorena Morales’ artworks have been exhibited nationally and internationally including extensively in Texas.
Artist Statement Art has always been relevant in Lorena Morales life; however, it was when she moved away from her homeland Venezuela that her art practice became grounded. Even though, or especially because, over time her perception of home has changed. It was when she left her homeland that she became aware of the relevance of home and cultural identity. For her, home is identity because that is where you learn from your surroundings, create experiences and memories, and becomes an extension of self. Then, she found herself with a necessity to embrace a new cultural identity in a new home while protecting the one she brought. All her artwork relates to personal issues of home and cultural identity. Some series refer to her homeland where nostalgia plays a main role, focusing on memories of what it was and what it symbolizes. Others are related to her new home where expectations are continuously transformed while in the process of assimilating a new cultural identity. There are also a series of works were both homes and cultural identities overlap on the search for sameness or what is absent on the other. Her work proposes a visual passage evoking nostalgia and expectations. They are on display in every combination of colors she applied, in the relationship between lines and shapes. They appear and disappear every time light changes in the environment or depending on the angle of the viewer. They may shift positions, but their presence is still perceived in each piece by the relationship between the materiality of the media she uses and the immateriality of the dynamic relationship of light and shadows. In her recent body of work, vivid colors disappeared and rows of flat houses reminiscent of those that she remembers from Venezuela are back. In the drawings titled “My Other Home: Incomplete Cities”, cities are incomplete because people have left the country due to economic and political crisis. They suggest a sense of nostalgia for a home and cultural identity that aren’t the same anymore.
Silver Street Studios. Studio 324. 2000 Edwards St
1st Ward, Houston, Texas 77007