Karla Wong

In every brush stroke, Karla plasters the splendors of her culture, a culture her parents instilled in her. She pushes the limits and steers away from more traditional elements to give it a magical touch of surrealism. Karla paints magical characters using emblematic symbols of Istmena culture. Such imagery as the hair pieces, papel picado (paper banner), the Tehuano hat, and embroidery among others. She brings such characters to life with brightly-colored detail.

Karla Wong is a trans woman who was born in Minatitlan, Veracruz, Mexico in 1974 but she grew up Karla in the istmus region of Oaxaca. The region’s tradition of celebrating art and colors are evident throughout her work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law and Social Sciences from the University of Oaxaca (U.A.B.J.O.)

After graduating, Karla began her career as a composite artist for the general prosecution and justice department for the state of Oaxaca, which she continues to the present day. She considers herself a “self-taught” artist. Karla started out with pencils then gradually experimented with oil paints. She eventually took private lessons from a renowned master artist in Oaxaca and in Chicago.

She has exhibited in the state of Oaxaca, the state of Puebla, multiple museums in Mexico City, numerous cultural houses, and in the National Palace and other prestigious government building. She has also shown her work at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen Chicago, at the University of México (UNAM) Campus Chicago, at Des Plaines History Center, at the Elmurst Art Museum, the Addison Center for the Arts, at the Consulate of Mexico in Chicago, Navy Pier, Bridgeport Art Center and in other venues and galleries in Chicago area, including at the the Walkers Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee and at the National Museum of Latin Art in Pomona, California.

artist’s website

© Karla Wong