Catalina Piedrahita, also known as Misia Violencia, is a Colombian-American artist born in Cali, Colombia. Piedrahita went to art school in Miami, Boston and lastly in Barcelona, where she received her Fine Arts master degree in Artistic Research and Production from Barcelona University (2017-2019). Catalina resides in Totana, Spain since 2019 where she’s currently producing and showcasing her work.
Misia Violencia was what my grandfather would call my grandmother when she was upset. It means Mrs. Violence. She was a strong, intelligent, determined woman who only showed me love, kindness and passion. As I became an adult, I learned about her flaws, only to make me more eager about my past and committed to make amends.
Misia Violencia has been a source of inspiration for a long time now, and she has become a symbol of struggle, power, love and beauty. My work inherently has traces of these qualities, and it has helped me document and shape an identity I still struggle to comprehend.
I was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, and had no choice but to migrate to the US when I was 15. Boston was my home for many years, and I’m forever grateful with this city for it has forged the person that I am. But I yearned to learn about other places and my own experience, so I decided to moved to Spain to expand my horizons, meet new people and open up my mind.
My life journey has taught me that acknowledging our roots and learning about them is essential to improve as a society. Keeping our past close enriches our culture as this helps us empathize, make amends and reconcile the past with the present in hopes to build a better future.
My artistic practice once was about gender, race, ethnicity, migration and identity decolonization. This process has been long and torturous, as I explored my identity and what it meant to switch privileges back and forth depending on the social and cultural context I was in. After my Master’s thesis, I had to put this work “on halt” (this kind of personal work really never stops) to focus on my mental health.
A few months after arriving in Barcelona, my life was shuttered by a 12-year-relationship rupture that left me lost and ill. About a year later came along the world pandemic, and fortunately I was moving forward with a new life and a new purpose. Needless to say, this journey has been frightening and painful, but I’ve always been aware of my good fortune and I’m deeply thankful for it.
Right now my work focuses on the exploration of the psyche and its healing. As I experiment with both technique and concept, my artistic process relays on the act of tracing and stroking as a meditation technique as I aim to let go of all that becomes too heavy to bear. Each artwork is prove of a connection and a disconnection. They are a reflation of a mental state. They are the remains of breathing.
- University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain — Master of Fine Arts – 2019
- New England School of Photography, Boston, MA, U.S. — Certificate in Professional Photography – 2011
- Miami International University of Art and Design, Miami, FL, U.S. — Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude – 2009
Solo Alt Exhibitions
- Entre Dentro y Fuera, Librería Faro, Totana, Spain — 2020
- Vislumbres Infantiles, La Tetería Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain — 2019
- Pícará Picaflor, ITACATE, Barcelona, Spain — 2018
- Concurso Solidario de Pintura, Asociación de Artistas Alicantinos, Alicante, ES – 2020
- Residencies FiC-ProdArt’19, Centre d’Art Contemporari de Barcelona, ES – 2019
- From The Ground Up: Dwelling on Naturalness, The Middle Gray, Brookine, MA — 2016
- Self Portrait, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT –– 2013
- Alumni Tear Sheet Exhibition, New England School of Photography, Boston, MA — 2012
- Iphoneography: Updated Visual Dialogs, The Lunch Box Gallery, Miami, FL — 2012
- Identity Factory, Espacio Rojo, Córdoba, Spain — 2009
- Visual Revolution, Blank 45 Fine Art Gallery, Miami, FL — 2009
- Go Figure, Demet Koc Gallery, Miami, FL — 2009
- Terminal Crew, Miami Spaces Warehouse, Miami, FL — 2009
- Horse Play, Atrium Gallery, Miami, FL — 2008
- Jungle Fever, Flamingo Lake Gallery, Miami, FL — 2008
- Garden Party, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach, FL — 2007
- 85@85, Mi Arte Gallery, Miami, FL — 2007
- Juried Annual Student Show, Atrium Gallery, Miami, FL — 2007
- Percha Mag, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2014.
- Revista Indigo, Bogotá, Colombia, 2013. http://issuu.com/revistaindigo/docs/indigo__6/7?e=6410108/2152913
- Percha Mag, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013.
- Self Portrait, Blurb Book, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2013.
Features & Contests
- Image Feature, Feature Shoot’s Instagram, 2016
- The Print Swap, Contest Winner, Feature Shoot, 2016
All rights belong to © Catalina Piedrahita 2021