Kala

  • Biography
  • Statement

KALA

Romelinda Maldonado, better known as Kala, was born in Aruba, but has Venezuelan roots on both sides of her family. She is a multidisciplinary autodidact artist and I consider herself to still be a fetus, as she yet has much more to explore and develop in her career.

She has a background in Child and Adolescent Psychology, but painting, photographing, sculpting and installations are what speaks to her the most. She likes to explore and work with different mediums and techniques as they all have their own language, spirit, and medicine. 

Her work is characterized by a more tropical vibe, due to her choice of color, typical Caribbean artifacts, and materials she collects in nature. Using natural, raw, rustic materials and certain techniques such as weaving, gives her pieces a native aesthetic at times. 

Her inspiration comes from all that is present in nature, human beings, culture, personal experiences, and how they all interact with each other. Basically, it is a dance between what she calls her ´microcosmos´ that entails all that is outside of her. The themes she mostly explores in her pieces are where she describes the micro and the macro clashes like nature and its destruction, modern colonialism, racism, abuse, tradition, identity and culture, womanhood and ´machismo´ and her micro cosmo. She tends to include the beauty that is often forgotten or unappreciated and show it to the world and celebrate it. 

All of this translates themselves into her crafts and more commercial pieces such as souvenirs and jewelry, which she often uses to make statements with the use of letter beads forming words and phrases in Papiamento, whether it is to celebrate Papiamento or uplift-empower others., rebel and express disgust and change narratives.

The work begins with a movement in my senses. It’s presence and intensity determines if it will turn into something. What is going on the inside of me and the constant urge to create are always trying to find their ways to each other.

My work is me documenting the journey of me constantly searching and exploring like a child playing. The final piece is a fragment of my personal shared story, just like a picture tells the story of a moment in life. 

People, culture, nature, my personal experiences, and connections with these subjects are what moves me the most. My experiences as a female being, decolonization, the celebration, and destruction of nature are themes that keep coming forward in my works. 

Working and experimenting with different mediums and techniques I explore and analyze my own thoughts and feelings; an internal investigation. I love combining, merging, different elements. Looking for their place, the balance they create, which gives my work the image of a surreal dream.

I am an artist taking part in everything that I love and searching for balance in order to function better, grow, and prepare myself to take a flight, my birth.