Nela Garzón is a multidisciplinary visual artist with a profound interest in exploring foreign media inspired by traditional crafts and cultures from all over the world. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, she obtained a Bachelor’s of Visual Arts from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana on 2004. In Colombia she worked as a freelance artist and took part of national exhibitions such as the 12 Salón Regional de Artistas, 41 Salón Nacional de Artistas and the 4to Salón de Arte Bidimensional. She has worked in different fields of the arts for more than 10 years; working in art direction, photography, illustration, graphic design and education. She immigrated to the U.S. on 2010 and settled in Houston on 2012 where she currently lives and works. Her art has been shown around the U.S. in New York, Georgia, Missouri, Florida and Texas. On 2019 she was the 1st place award recipient of the Assistance League of Houston Texas Art Show curated by Jennie Goldstein, Assistant Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, on 2020 she was selected as a LIFTS grant recipient and two of her works were added to the West Collection located in Philadelphia, PA and on 2022 she was commissioned by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to create a temporary sculpture that was showcased at the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden.
Garzón’s art explores the importance of cultural identity and the transgression of acculturation, it encompasses topics such as: colonialism, racism, social injustice, immigration and human behavior amongst others. We encounter in her work hybrid cultures and a mix of traditions and modernism as a critical outcome of ethnocentrism and modern societies. Folk art, handcrafts, beliefs and customs from around the globe are her subject of research and admiration, she adopts and modifies them to send a message about the side effects of globalization and capitalism. Her goal is to create awareness about the importance of ancestral and traditional cultures and to promote pride in minorities as well as embracement towards immigrants and refugees.