MARIETTA, GA, United States
About Mariestella Coln-Astacio
Enchanted Island The Enchanted Island series depicts fantastical landscapes and scenery relating to feelings and memories I hold of the country where I grew up: Puerto Rico. Re-imagined landscapes, nature that emerges from a world that "could be", mashing together realities with unrestrained strangeness. Fanciful and banana/palm tree plants carry mythologies of "puertorricaness" that are ingrained in the "guineo" or banana; anywhere from economic wealth from yesteryear's Puerto Rico, to the "Amapola" flower's perceived sexual virility that goes beyond the island. Here the palm trees and brand stickered bananas give a glimpse into the new realities of global capitalism and juxtaposes a pristine idea of nature with the new world of GMO's. Could a banana growing palm tree be the next trademarked food? In my piece "Palma bruja" it's already possible. Effervescent, bright, alive, are words that I think of when I ponder (with melancolÃa) the life I led as a child so many years ago. Memory if left long enough, holds in it either our best life experiences or the worse, eventually with time, these memories are broken down into feelings and flashes of remembrances that become a life story. Fantastical histories come out of this space. Memory itself can be fickle, fleeting, grasping, even moldable, outputting to the best of it's abilities what we want (or dread) to remember. Sometime we replace that which is into manufactured memories, glossing over what is "real" and into our imaginations. - What is reality anyway? But a series of memories put together on the fly constructed into a hasty story. I long for the freshness of the ripened fruit brewing in the backyard or especially from the local "verdurero" who was a staple at every "vecindario" driving in circles yelling with his "auto parlante": "Aguacates, Ã±ames, guineos fresquesitos, cocos, tomates..." Now, most of my consumption of bananas don't ever-ever come from the island. So I return hungry, once every two, three or five years and if I'm lucky, eat guineos manzanos, freshhh.
BFA, Pratt Institute, NYC
MA, New York University
HS, Escuela Central de Bellas Artes, Puerto Rico