Photo: Carolina Muñoz
Morela Avilán was born in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1983 she earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. From 1983 to 1984 she studied photography with Professor Claudio Nieves at the Universidad Santa María in the same city. The next year she received a grant from the Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos Rómulo Gallegos (Celarg), where she joined a poetry workshop. Between 1986 and 1996 she studied painting at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas and at the Instituto de Arte Federico Brandt in Caracas. At the end of this formative period she started to participate in group exhibitions in the Venezuelan capital. From 2000 to 2005 she attended various workshops such as “Psychoanalysis in Art: The Archetypes” and “New Techniques of Visual Expression” taught by the artist Víctor Hugo Irazábal at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas, among others.
Avilán worked as a civil engineer for almost 30 years and at the same time she was painting and writing poetry. Her first solo show, “Expresiones del signo” (“Expressions of the Sign”) was mounted in 1999; in it she explored in a symbolic manner the narrative of Christianity and other religions in which she had been interested. Eight years later she produced the exhibition “Zahorí” in which an imaginative world is created using a visual language that is divided between lyricism and figuration.
The experiences of various childhood trips with her family into the natural world led to her being enamored by atmospheric light and how that changed when it was reflected on water, whether from the sea, a river, or even on droplets on a tree’s leaves after a rain. From these sensory experiences she began to create her “interior gardens”, explored in the series “Sonata in G” and “Chromatic Capriccio.” These creations emerged in a fertile moment when the artist actively participated in various group exhibitions and carried out two solo shows in Caracas and Miami.
The light of the Caribbean and the luminosity apprehended in her trips around the world were the pivots for the development of her later series. Along with her research on quantum physics and the infinitesimal dimension of light, Avilán read and investigated the notion of illumination present in various religions and philosophies after which she began to create her “Solar” series composed of yellow monochrome pieces. This stage coincided with her move to Miami in 2017. In this city the artist has been able to intensively develop her creative pursuits, evidenced by her 2017 individual exhibition “Solar.”
Today, Avilan works intensively and has developed “Solaris” and “Lunar”, her latest series. She is constantly participating in group exhibitions and art fairs and is being recognized in various artistic competitions held in Miami’s art district, Wynwood.