KIARA MACHADO — FEATURED ARTIST
gouache | 2018 | 18×22
Sisterhood shows the intimacy in allowing someone to touch one’s hair by braiding it. The environment that the two young womxn are in demonstrates their solidarity with other communities and inclusivity. This piece highlights the strong bond that womxn can have, whether through blood or not.
oil on canvas | 2018 | 30×40
Cuarenta pays homage to forty young girls who died in a fire in Guatemala one year ago. The worry dolls hidden throughout the piece represent the girls and how there was never any justice for them. The different flowers represent different things; for example the baby’s breath is a representation of the innocence of childhood and the white orchids resemble the national flower of Guatemala, which is the monja blanca. This piece also serves as a way to start a conversation about the erasure experienced by Central Americans in the U.S.
Cuando Estoy Con El
oil on canvas | 2017 | 18×24
This oil painting was inspired by an interview that I had with one of my friends in which he expressed how a song made him feel. He mentioned that while he listened to this Spanish song, he envisioned himself as a woman with long hair running around. I wanted to demonstrate that there is a complexity with identity and that it can be more than what we perceive as being a “man” or “woman.”
I Am Nicaragua
oil on canvas | 2018 | 5×6 ft
This piece is based on a poem that my friend Tanya wrote. She is the central figure in the painting and it’s about her experience of being born in Nicaragua but raised in the United States. The composition demonstrates a binary perspective of being from “neither here nor from there” — of coming from a place rich in culture and going to a foreign country where she has to fight everyday to preserve and defend her identity.
oil on canvas | 2017 | 2×3 ft
With this piece I wanted to integrate the two countries that my parents are from, Guatemala and El Salvador. The background is a tipico textile from Guatemala and the elderly woman is from El Salvador. I was instantly drawn to painting this woman because of how beautiful she was. Although it goes against Westernized beauty standards, she is brown and elderly, but absolutely beautiful. For me, it is important to have a diverse representation of beauty so that more people can relate and recognize their own beauty.
oil on canvas | 2016 | 12×24
Luces Rojas was inspired by thinking about the work schedule of sex workers and how they don’t have days off, even on holidays. The saturated colors surrounding the figure are cast by Christmas lights that she is holding. Although the figure is covering her nude body, the colors are enticing and empowering.
Born in Los Angeles in 1993, Kiara Machado is a Southern Californian-based artist. Influenced by the work of Kerry James Marshall, and how he confronts the absence of the black figure from art history, Kiara references his paintings to learn from them. Mainly working with oil on canvas, her use of multicolored hues and camouflaged figures has become prominent within her new body of work. She is influenced by the complexities of identity and underrepresentation that marginalized communities experience. Kiara received her BFA for drawing and painting from California State Long Beach has shown at the Dutzi, Werby, and Max L. Gatov Gallery.