Luisi Mera

Term: June – July 2018

Stipendiary of the NYAA


Luisiana Mera was born in the Republic of Panama, currently lives and works in New York City. Luisiana Mera’s last exhibition featured delicately rendered charcoal drawings based on images sent to Mera via iPhone from relatives in her native Panama. Through exquisite technique, dramatic lighting and gridded and cropped theatrical spaces, Mera re-frames baroque pictorial conventions to deploy a personal and contemporary narrative, creating work that is tactile, velvety and dreamlike. “We experience the world largely through today’s technologies, images that are edited and composed by others on screens and in print. What can be lost is the pre-edited, individual, personal experience,” said Mera. “The sensual quality of the charcoal medium makes it possible to convey an immediate physical experience from these detached images.”


My work represents homesickness and nostalgia through photographic images. These sources—often snapshots and screen grabs from facetime—depict events in the lives of my family members that have occurred while I was away from home. As paintings and drawings, these images have become monuments; they resist the passage of time and depict my cultural background. Ultimately, what I want to accomplish with my art career is to impact society in a positive way. In many ways, the digital age has straight-jacketed individuals to the immediate present. Social media has become a source of distraction from what is really important, and I want to create art that disembarks from the types of photography found through mediums such as Instagram, Facebook, etc.

Through my artwork, fragmented moments are transformed to revive lost memories. The time used to work on a drawing is also time to meditate, reflect, and question the past. This type of work acts as a symbol of love; the time devoted to creating each piece mirrors the importance of its concept or subject. Hence, this type of work, when installed in a gallery space, emulates the way temporary moments can survive in essence. What is preserved is one moment and what is lost is not really lost if it is reflected on; my labor becomes a testament to the moment’s enduring significance. […]