How does a Brooklyn artist imagine both her past and future? After a decade of hard-fought accomplishments in New York City, artist Marela Zacarías completes a large-scale project while anticipating the arrival of her first child. Leaving behind a career painting public murals, Zacarías moved to the city hungry for artistic growth, and completed an MFA at Hunter College, shifting her practice towards a more satisfying form of personal expression. “Grad school put me upside down,” she says, “It really pushed me to find out what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. And I’m glad, because now I feel like I can say a lot more things through my own language.”
The fruits of Zacarías’s labor are evident in her Bedford-Stuyvesant studio: the artist, along with her husband, Weston Pew, and a team of assistants, are hard at work creating the undulating sculptural and painterly forms that have become the artist’s signature. The new work—a commission for the William Vale Hotel—reveals the historical evolution of neighborhoods like Williamsburg, where the hotel is currently under construction. Zacarías herself is part of the city’s irresistible collective ambition, having become a full-time artist with a growing studio practice while bringing a baby boy into the world. Like the city she calls home, Zacarías envisions a bright future. “It seems like it’s not going to get slower,” says the artist, “I’m definitely not planning on stopping my work and hopefully get to spend all my time with my baby and seem him grow.” Featuring the work Mannahatta (2016).