Berman Museum

Kukuli Velarde's CORPUS series. As installed in 2024 exhibition Kukuli Velarde: Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful.
Kukuli Velarde’s CORPUS series. As installed in 2024 exhibition Kukuli Velarde: Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful.

Kukuli Velarde

In her practice, artist Kukuli Velarde blends indigenous Peruvian culture, philosophy, and religion with European Catholic iconography to confront enduring cultural legacies of colonization. Drawing from visual languages of both indigenous and colonial cultures, the resulting imagery synthesizes and reclaims complexities of mestizo identities. By incorporating portraiture and self-portraiture, Velarde contemplates and reflects on the personal consequences of such histories and how multiple identities and realities can live on, together, in one person. Through her work, Velarde investigates an evolving sense of female identity, while simultaneously exploring the artist’s role as witness, critic, and agent of change.

Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful brings together works from various series over the course of Velarde’s career to celebrate the dynamics and fluidity of identity, womanhood, ritual, history, and adoration. The exhibition’s title references the components of “perfect” marital love, according to teachings of the Catholic Church. Velarde reinterprets these concepts to convey an expansive and inclusive connotation of perfect love.


En su práctica, la artista Kukuli Velarde combina la cultura, la filosofía y la religión de las personas nativas de Perú con la iconografía católica europea a fin de confrontar los legados culturales de la colonización que aún perduran. Inspiradas en los lenguajes visuales de las culturas indígenas y coloniales, las imágenes sintetizan y se replantean las complejidades de las identidades mestizas. Al incorporar el retrato y el autorretrato, Velarde reflexiona sobre las consecuencias personales de esas historias y sobre cómo muchas identidades y realidades pueden convivir, juntas, en una misma persona. A través de su obra, Velarde investiga un sentido de identidad femenina en evolución, a la vez que explora el rol del artista como testigo, crítico y agente de cambio.

Libre, completa, fiel y fértil reúne obras de diversas series de la carrera de Velarde para celebrar el dinamismo y la fluidez de la identidad, la feminidad, los rituales, la historia y la adoración. El título de la exposición hace referencia a los componentes del amor conyugal “perfecto”, según las enseñanzas de la Iglesia católica. Velarde reinterpreta estos conceptos con el fin de darle un sentido expansivo e inclusivo a la idea del amor perfecto.

Artist(s)

 

Kukuli Velarde

Peruvian-born, Philadelphia-based artist Kukuli Velarde draws deeply on her cultural heritage in a practice that spans ceramic sculpture and painting. The artist’s work is represented in museum collections including the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her work was included in the 2021 exhibition New Grit: Art & Philly Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Short Description

Kukuli Velarde draws from indigenous Peruvian and European Catholic iconographies to engage with the lasting personal and cultural impacts of colonization. In this exhibition, her works investigate faith, female identities, and womanhood.

Side Content

Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful is an outgrowth of the exhibition Kukuli Velarde: CORPUS, organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, and University of Texas at San Antonio’s Southwest Campus.


Esta exposición es una extensión de Kukuli Velarde: CORPUS, organizada por el Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, el College of Charleston School of the Arts; el Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center del Colorado College; y la Southwest School of Art de la University of Texas at San Antonio.