She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Photography from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Her conceptual work has an emphasis in how we relate to nature and the importance of this relationship. She has participated in collective exhibitions in Puerto Rico, in USA, and in Italy. In 2016 her work received honorable mention by the International Photography Awards in the Portrait and Fine Art categories. She has also participated in the Cena por el MAC auction and was published in an art magazine in the UK. Her art is part of private collections in Puerto Rico and Germany. She was recently selected to have a Solo Show at the Foundry Art Center in St. Charles, Missouri and recently participated in a group show in a Miami gallery during the Miami Art Basel 2018.
In her TOROSIETE Museum exhibition, titled d e . t e ɾ . m ĩ ˈ n a . ð̞ o, she presents a series of photographs that combine the human body and meticulously arranged flowers, all photographed together in one composition. Of her exhibition, Zuania states:
“We need to experience our selves in such way that we could say that our real body is not just what it is inside the skin, but our hole, total, external environment.” – Allan Wats
For d e . t e ɾ . m ĩ ˈ n a . ð̞ o, my project is based on the philosophy of the aesthetic movement of the mid-nineteenth century in England, where the cult of beauty, the incorporation of floral elements and sensuality was sought. Within this framework I aim to represent the importance of recognizing nature as part of our own selves, to relate to it, to appreciate it, and to contemplate it. To achieve this, I used language, flora, and the human body as the starting point for creating photography with high aesthetic value. The combination of photographic technique, illumination, care for detail, precision, and manual confection of the floral arrangements allows me to provide the viewer with an experience of enjoyment and delight.
My creative process begins with the Spanish language, particularly the definite article that precedes the name of each flower. In Spanish, this article is gendered, varying between the male el and the female la. For example, while creating the piece that features an oak flower—in Spanish, el roble—I used male body parts to correspond to the flower’s definite article. On the other hand, while preparing the bougainvillea—la trinitaria—I used female body parts. My intention is not to make a statement on gender or sex, but to highlight the morphology of the language.
As to the flowers, I arrange them by hand to create compositions in conjunction with the human body. These meticulous arrangements are placed in situ when I create the photograph. The flowers themselves provide the beauty, grandeur, and glory inherent to tropical flora.
The human body—in its entirety or by its parts—supplies a sense of humanity to the composition. Each one of my photographs exhibits the symbiotic relationship between human beings and the flora. The human body juxtaposed with colorful flowers is a
celebration of our humanity and the joy of life. -Zuania Muñiz-Meléndez
Explore both the 3D Virtual and Interactive versions of Zuania’s exhibition d e . t e ɾ . m ĩ ˈ n a . ð̞ o, by clicking on the images below or visiting her TOROSIETE Museum home at ZUANIA.TOROSIETE.COM.
Look out for the next issue of TOROSIETE Magazine, August 2019 for an interview with Zuania and a full spread of these works.