Nela Garzón is a Colombian multidisciplinary visual artist working mostly in painting, but with a profound interest in exploring other media inspired by traditional crafts and cultures from all over the world.
Artist Statement My art explores the importance of identity and the transgression of transculturation, it encompasses topics such as: acculturation, racism, social injustice, immigration, the American dream and human behavior to mention some. We live in a constant bombardment of mass media, trends and consumerism, that are killing at fast pace the unique cultures that remain. I observe critically through my work the hybrid cultures that have formed, and how traditions have been buried by modern societies. As individuals, we are recognized through the eyes of everyone else with their opinions about us and the labels they give us. Misconceptions, generalized judgements and ignorance are the essence of social interactions between strangers. Our individuality is blurred by subjective opinions of where we come from, how we look and where we work. Additionally, it is transformed permanently by new cultures that impose upon us. We are us, but we are also what others want to see. I am a multidisciplinary artist and I have a profound interest in learning new media. Folk art, handcrafts, believes and traditions from around the world have always been my inspiration and subject of research. Therefore, I appropriate and modify them in my work to send a message about the side effects of globalization and capitalism. I constantly use foreign media which I have to self taught; hence I consider the creation process in each project and the overcoming of technical challenges an implicit art performance. I must become other in order to accomplish a particular piece. I want to create awareness about the importance of traditional cultures and crafts on the contrary to the appalling outcome of consumerism an mass production. I want to promote cultural pride in minorities and acceptance from everyone. Modern societies brag about diversity in academic scenarios, but are non-inclusive in social life. Each day masses of people are constantly being displaced by wars and natural disasters and in order to be accepted, belong, and adapt to new cultures a lot of them willingly choose to forget their traditions and origins. The outcome is an irreversible cultural loss, and I wish I can help treasure through my work, those cultures that might disappear soon.