My work merges fashion, painting, printmaking and historical European imagery with contemporary issues concerning identity construction, displays of wealth, imperialism and the pursuit of the American Dream. Through couture dress sculptures, and fine art production I investigate how material objects become symbols of one’s success and define one’s identity. Houses become icons, and the use of pattern is symbolic for the need to adorn, embellish and personalize one’s possessions. Elements of cartography personify land and real-estate, and one’s curiosity to categorize, explore and conquer the unknown.
Stephanie Mercado is a Los Angeles artist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing from California State University Long Beach in 2007. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2006. In 2008 she traveled to Europe and studied painting independently, inspiring her to create the current body of work that merges historical European painting with contemporary issues. Mercado’s American Dream art illustrates themes of identity construction, displays of wealth, and imperialism.
Growing up in the East Los Angeles neighborhood, Boyle Heights, Stephanie Mercado was inspired by spending time at her mother’s fabric store and her grandfather’s upholstery shop. Although she formally pursued painting in her career as a professional artist, she’s always had a love for fashion design and for screen printing (or printmaking), which is often used in fashion design. She also claims PBS-famed Bob Ross as being one of her early influences in becoming an artist.
Mercado founded and runs Paper Doll Press, located in Highland Park on the corner of Ave. 51 and Monte Vista St. in Los Angeles. Paper Doll Press is an independent creative art studio focused on publishing intaglio, relief and silkscreen editions, in addition to original paintings and couture dress sculptures.
Watch the film interview below!