Mariela Montero is a San Francisco-based artist whose experience as a Filipinx American womxn informs her practice, which is rooted in diaspora studies, post-colonial theory, and motherhood. Montero works in mixed media painting, sculpture, and installation. She is a collaborator of Appendix, a collective of multi-ethnic Asian American womxn, queer, and allied artists. Mariela earned her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2017 and has worked with organizations such as the Asian American Women Artists Association and Kearny Street Workshop.
Montero’s practice examines how the biological, psychological, and spiritual is manifested in the Filipinx body—how this othered body is read in the context of diaspora, cultural artifact, mythology, and religion. The works investigate seductive and repulsive qualities of materiality in a visual language that is situated in the feminine. Gestural paintings are rendered in fluid strokes that attempt to capture the natural movement of water, of bodily humors, while painted sculptures allude to the sanguine fruits of the body, its nourishment and religiosity as well as its manifestation of inherited and intergenerational trauma.