Bio

Born and raised in the Mexico’s second biggest city, Stella left her hometown in her early 20’s to wander the world. Currently she's based in Edinburgh, UK.
As working on her research, the critical thinking of ‘where I come from’ and ‘what is home’ is portrayed through her illustrations.

Stella uses mainly traditional mixed media art in monochromatic tones, trying to focus on composition, her characters' expressions and symbolisms.

Stella's art is heavily influenced by Mesoamerican and European ancient art and mythology, and the surrealism movement with a touch of sensuality and nostalgia.

Main project

“Syncretism” it’s a series of seven illustrations about the cultural outcome of the Spanish’ conquest to the Mesoamerican civilizations. The arrival of the conquerors was a prophecy in the Maya’s cosmology. Mistaken as divine beings, their imposition of a new religion brutalized the natives.

The biggest challenge of this project was to not have it mistaken as a historical research, but rather as an artistic and social research. It is meant to be an explanation of the origin and outcome of certain traditions, icons, and myths; all of which have created Mexico’s folklore. 

My work intends to expose the origins and social context of seven characters/ events, so the audience can come up with their own judgement.

The seven illustrations were made with graphite, gold leaf and they measure each 19.6 x 13 inches (50 x 33,5 CMS).

This image it's about La Malinche/ Eve and Moctezuma/ Adam and each character is explained in the short animation below.

 

Scan of "the syncretism of Eve and La Malinche/ Adam and Moctezuma, the young Aztec Emperor" expand
La Malinche/Eve & Moctezuma/Adam
"Coatlicue/ Virgin Mary". Coatlicue is the Mother of the Gods in the Aztec myth, and the virgin mother of Huitzilopochtli, the main God in Aztec mythology. Parallelly, the Virgin Mary got pregnant in mysterious ways and got the savior Jesus Christ. Both female icons made ‘Tonatzin’ or “la Virgen de Guadalupe”
"Coatlicue/ Virgin Mary"
"Quetzalcoatl/ Triface Jesus". Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent is the God who created humans as we are now, according to the Aztec myth. He was venerated by many civilizations as the Hopi (Native American tribe based in Arizona) and the Mayan people.
"Quetzalcoatl/ Triface Jesus"
"American Jesus" it's a critique of the alienation for serial killers in the US.
"American Jesus"
"Dia de Muertos" :day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday associated with the Catholic celebration of All Saints day; but, this celebration has its roots in the pre-Colombian age.
"Dia de Muertos"
Further explanation of the illustrations above (from order of appeareance)

Coatlicue/ Virgin Mary. Coatlicue is the Mother of the Gods in the Aztec myth, and the virgin mother of Huitzilopochtli, the founder of what is now Mexico’s city, according to the Aztec myth.

In comparison, the Virgin Mary got pregnant in mysterious ways to bring to life the son of God, according to the Bible. Both female icons made ‘Tonatzin’ or “la Virgen de Guadalupe” who is more venerated than Christ in Mexico.

Quetzalcoatl/ Trifacial Jesus. Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent is the God who created humans as we are now, according to the Aztec myth. He was venerated by many civilizations as the Hopi (Native American tribe based in Arizona) and the Mayan people (who called him Kukulkan).

Both Christ and he spread his verbal teachings amongst humans, then compiled in the New Testament and the "Aztec bible":  Huehuetlahtolli.

American Jesus. “God is dead”, a quote by F. Nietzsche is far from being truth. God is a personal statement. We pray to something and to nothing. Religion is not about the image itself, but what it represents: an idea (you have a purpose that has been decided by a divine being), a belief (your personal Jesus will hear you now) and faith (God is not dead).

As the capitalism expands in the whole world, the US imposes its vision and their fascination for serial killers and super stars it’s like the need for a new God. A modern prophet for modern times.

Día de Muertos. The day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition associated with the Catholic celebration of All Saints day; however, this celebration has its roots in the pre-Columbian age.

 From the Conquest, Latin America not only pay with blood, but the highest price was the lost of identity and culture. The modern celebration is a reminder of encouraging the Mexican nationalism through an ‘Aztec identity’.

Moter Dolorosa
L'absurde

In these illustrations I question my memories, tainted with feelings, but they could as well be fake. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, inspired three characters that end with all logic: the irrationality, which is the longing for happiness and reason; the human nostalgia, which is the need for unity; and the absurdity, which it’s the meaning in life. The illustrations portray Camus’ philosophy of absurdity as three eerie characters.

After living 9 years in Paris, I have experienced syncretism myself. French culture conquered me, not only through the language, but also through ideas and daily ‘rituals’. I am far from France. but I still need my “little coffee” and a one-hour cigarette break in the middle of a workday.

A watercolour illustration of a surrealist scene in Paris, 02
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