Artwork for podcast Not Real Art
Kiara Machado: Artist + 2020 Not Real Art Grant Recipient
Episode 9122nd September 2020 • Not Real Art • Crewest Studio
00:00:00 00:59:03

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We know how important art can be in subverting dominant narratives and creating spaces for marginalized communities to speak from. Today's guest, Kiara Machado, is a first-generation Central American-American painter whose work explores the complexity of her identity. As a 2020 NRA Grant winner, Kiara’s work stood out to us as being sophisticated, bold, and captivating. In this episode, which celebrates Kiara, we hear about her creative process and how the anger of always having to defend her identity informs her work. Having grown up in America, she has faced these issues from an early age and channels her frustrations into her work. Through paying homage to Central American women, Kiara celebrates who she is. We also talk about the lack of nuance that's common when people think about Latinx culture. We unpack some of the contributing factors to this homogenization including schooling and algorithms and how they feed into the erasure of groups of people. Along with this, we discuss why art schools need to bring in business education into their curriculums, how Kiara’s family has supported and grown with her through her art career, and why she was drawn to NRA’s mission. Kiara’s unwavering commitment to her practice and to celebrating her identity is truly inspiring, so to hear more, tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Hear how you can apply for the 2021 NRA Grant – It’s free!
  • Kiara’s productivity during this time, and how having a home studio has helped her stay focused.
  • The importance of using this time to reflect and ensure we’re contributing to history positively.
  • How powerful social media is in mobilizing people and contributing to change.
  • Kiara’s identity as Central American and how this influences the work she makes.
  • The role of spirituality in Kiara’s life, and the spiritual nature of the botanicals in her work.
  • Why Kiara is drawn to painting women and representing a range of women in her work.
  • Factors that contribute to the homogenous representation and understanding of Latinx culture.
  • The supportive role that Kiara’s family has played in her career as an artist.
  • The pressure Kiara put in herself for not pursuing a ‘conventional career.’
  • Showing up every day and not waiting for inspiration to strike.
  • Why Kiara believes that the business side of art should be taught at art schools.
  • Kiara’s process of applying for grants and the challenges she has faced with this.
  • How Kiara finds community and the importance of safe spaces for her.
  • NRA Grant’s role in bringing artists together and how Kiara felt receiving it.
  • What Kiara is working on at the moment, and where she’ll be showing work.
  • What the phrase, ‘Not Real Art’ means to Kiara. 

See Kiara's artwork, learn more and hear the entire episode here:




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