Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Ara identifies herself as an Asian, transcultural woman who explores the social and political intersect in relationships via her narratives in the form of paintings.
Ara Cho lives and works in New York City. She earned her BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. Her work has been exhibited at Space 776 Gallery, Asian Contemporary Art in Hong Kong, The City Hall of Jersey City, Zhou B Art Center and Sullivan Gallery.
“I’m interested in the ways my contemporary generation responds to flux around them and how they consume it into their living energy. Flux is defined to me as avidity, ego, and adaptation of humanity for a better life. It is often used as a social or political tool. In my painting it is the core starting point. I examine narratives that project a shadow of myself and make a body by bringing color as another energy. They seem aggressive, naive, contradictory and mutinous.”
– Ara Cho
Her story relates to the myth of her origin. Estefania questions and plays with aspects of her identity by using stereotypical objects, color, sounds and symbols mixed with humor. She describes herself as a liminal creature existing in-between her multicultural identity as a Hispanic American.
Estefania earned her BFA at University of Florida in 2015, and her MFA at Brooklyn College CUNY in 2017. Her work has recently been exhibited at Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn College, and MOCA Open Engagement in California.
“My artistic practice has changed since moving from Florida to New York City. I find myself asking more questions about identity and making work that uses emblems of the city, like broken subway tiles and plants, as different symbolic places within my paintings. I borrow the bright natural colors of my Puerto Rican and Floridian upbringing in opposition to the darker muted colors of New York City within paintings to represent the spaces that I inhabit.”
– Estefania Velez
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