Imagine that Salvador Dali and Frida Khalo have a brain child and the personification of that image is a Chicago native, Isabel Bravo. Currently a student at Harold Washington College, Isabel is a multifaceted artist with experience in animation, photography, performing and visual arts. If you can name it, she’s probably done it. At age 20, she has already been director of art festivals and has had her art exhibited in the Flatiron Art Center in Wicker Park. The majority of her visual arts work has been by commission, however as of recent months she’s been taking those first steps, to present her own unique ideas and style to the masses.
Although she started creating art as a child, her pursuit of a degree in art therapy and her art career both began at the same time. Isabel self discovered the positive effects of art therapy as a method of coping with her depression, which she also attributes to her start as a serious artist. It was during a month long stay in a hospital during her 16th year. What started as a way to combat the boredom that comes prepackaged with hospital stays, became a therapeutic yet challenging leap into a world, where she was forced to confront her self and her perception of herself through art. It was this month that helped produce the expressive surrealism that is heavily present in Isabel’s personal artwork.
With self portraits making up the majority of her non-commissioned art, it makes sense that the main influences on her style comes from Peter Paul Ruben, a renowned portrait artist of his time. The goal of her art is to present and share an idea, message or story that draws the viewer into the visuals and cause them to ponder; who they are, what they’re here for, even where they’ve been? Hers is an increasingly successful attempt to represent those hidden emotions we often dismiss, through artistic mediums. Are you up to the challenge her artwork presents?