Kai Margarida-Ramirez de Arellano
Kai’s Puerto Rican roots deeply inform her artwork. She often draws from photographs of her grandmother’s family, taken by her great-great-grandmother, establishing unique, inter-generational collaborations with her ancestors. Drawing from Mexican folk art and her family history, Kai examines her experience of walking the line between cultures. These cultural contradictions are dissected further via the sexual over- (sometimes under-) tones that permeate her work.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kai uses the intersection of Caribbean and Chicano culture as the stage for her work. At the University of New Mexico, Kai began to fuse her art with her interest in social issues, focusing on art as protest and a tool of empowerment.
She studied papel picado with master Catalina Delgado Trunk and uses it as an expansion of her work in mixed media and collage. Kai’s work is in the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s permanent collection and has been shown across the United States. She is based in New York City.
To read a Q & A on Kai, click on the link below: