Working with a labor-intensive process that merges sculpture with painting, Marela Zacarias fabricates forms out of wire screening attached to wooden supports or found objects to which she applies layers of plaster to create undulating forms. Through sanding, polishing, and painting, she creates sculptures with the quality of fabric, filled with movement and expressive quality. She then paints the sculptures with original patterns and geometric abstract shapes that are inspired by her research. Her work is characterized by an interest in site specificity, socially committed history and current events.
Zacarias has held solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Praxis Gallery, the National Arts Club, and Art at Viacom in New York; and at the Brattleboro Museum, Vermont. She has taken part in group exhibitions at the British Society of American Art, Praxis Gallery, Y Gallery, Rush Arts Gallery and El Museo del Barrio.
She has received large-scale permanent site-specific commissions from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Facebook, the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn, and the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. Her murals can be found in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Mexico, and Guatemala. She has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center; the University of Connecticut, Storrs; and the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C., among others. She was profiled in the Art21 “New York Close Up” series in 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Zacarias received her BA from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, and her MFA from Hunter College, New York. She lives between Brooklyn and Mexico City.