the artist

Kukuli Velarde

Kukuli Velarde

Philadelphia, PA

Kukuli Velarde

Mater Admirabilis is the representation of the Virgin Mary surrounded by two angels.  It is also a family portrait of Velarde’s mother (center), Velarde’s sister Vida (left), and Velarde herself (right).

Mater Admirabilis was developed from an old photograph that Velarde’s mother had taken with her and her sister in Cusco at the Martin Chambi Photography Studio which is run by the daughter of an old classmate of Velarde’s mother.  It is a nostalgic remembrance of Velarde’s mother who was then beautiful and busy, always present but always immersed in her work, in a life usually witnessed but rarely participated.

In Peru, Catholics have a strong relationship with religious icons that often share their public and personal spaces.  Velarde selected the iconography of the Virgin Mary to salute respectfully the concept of motherhood (love, protection) in the resemblance of her own mother.

Mater Admirabilis is part of a series titled “Cadavers.”

Fast Facts

Name: Kukuli Velarde


Place of Birth: Cusco, Perú

1992, B.F.A. – Hunter College

Notable or memorable instructors or mentors:
Hernán Velarde Vargas (my father)

Particular field of study or class work:

Major influences/admired artists:
Peruvian Colonial Art
Pre-Columbian ceramics
Kehinde Wiley
Andres Serrano

Favorite materials or media:
Oil painting

Gallery Representation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Cavin-Morris Gallery – New York, New York

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