A Phoenix Frida
A self-taught artist, Emily Costello is irresistibly attracted to the curious and bizarre, and paints images that amuse and intrigue her. She finds much of her inspiration from her Mexican heritage and its cultural icons and images. She also creates contemporary retablos and nichos by creating her own small sculptures and using found objects that she alters.
Tell us about you: I was born and raised in the small copper mining town of Superior, Arizona, received a bachelor’s degree from ASU, and currently live in South Phoenix with my husband and son.
I left my corporate job as a human resources director last year and now create art full time. I also serve on the Arizona Latin@ Arts and Cultural Center’s Visual Arts Committee.
Career highlights: I am a member of the artist collective, The Phoenix Fridas (phoenixfridas.blogspot.com), who received the Phoenix New Times Best Latina Art Collective 2007 and Best Heroine Worship/Coolest Clique in Town 2009. I am also a muralista for the Calle 16 Mural Project (calle16.org).
I have exhibited at Arizona State University, Java Vida, Barrio Café, Calaca Cultural Center/Arizona Historical Museum, Xico, Desert Botanical Garden, Adelante Gallery, City of Tempe, ChimMaya Gallery in Los Angeles, and have been featured in several national mixed-media websites.
Education and training: I am mainly a self-taught artist. For fun, I took a two-day painting class with a friend six years ago and I haven’t put down the brush and paints since.
Describe your art and your style: I create contemporary interpretations of traditional Mexican folk art forms. My art depicts a variety of figures in popular Latin American culture: the Virgin of Guadalupe, saints, the sacred heart, figures from Lotería, Día de los Muertos characters and folk heroes. I create with a variety of mediums including acrylics, wood, tin, clay, mixed media and found objects. I use vivid colors and symbolism to try to capture the joys and sorrows of life.
See more of Emily’s arte at: facebook.com/emily.costello1