En El Cielo
Nina Monrreal has manifested a ceaseless oeuvre, "En El Cielo", with influences from her personal collection of artist precedents including Jesús Guerrero Galván, Kehinde Wiley, Frida Kahlo, Teresa Margolles; as well as her inclination to the Medieval and Baroque age along with her natural allure to flora.
The foundation of “En El Cielo” is to emphasize the avoided discourse of social discrepancies that are often imposed onto people of color’s nature, and illuminate their significance within the realm of Fine Arts.
The portrait’s disposition is a reference to Medieval portraiture’s visual vocabulary. In retrospect, the flora that adorns the frame are not solely for aesthetic purposes, but also to render the aura of each model seen through her eyes. By creating a gentle facade, she not only makes it viscerally easier for the observer to digest, but also juxtaposes the notions that are often tied to people of color’s identity. How the subjects are depicted and reflect on times past is a catalyst to a sense of awe, just as the precious portraitures of the aforementioned periods had. Permanence ascends from the subject within the images as her means to capture each individual is through an ephemeral medium format lens. The title of the series plays a hand in the visionary presence of the art and when translated into English, means in the sky and/or in heaven, elevating her subject as “angel-like personas”.
Upon bestowing the spotlight to those unrepresented, she creates an ethereal representation of those people who are often seen as anything but human. Thus the dialogue between the viewer’s current perception and the present subject are enveloped. Realization of the toxic impressions that are frequently correlated to people of color are annulled as Nina recreates these people in the way she perceives them, human.