Karen Miranda Rivadeneira: Meda

MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is pleased to present a new solo exhibition, MEDA by Karen Miranda Rivadeneira (b.1983), an Ecuadorian-American artist based in New York. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery’s Upper East Side location. The exhibition will run from April 23 to June 30, 2021. The gallery hours are from Wednesday to Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm (except for Memorial Day holidays).


Karen Miranda Rivadeneira‘s new series MEDA consists of photographs, silkscreens, and paintings that are the results of her investigation on the primordial relationship between humans and the earth. For the photographs, Rivadeneira captures awe-inducing landscapes of Taos, New Mexico as well as those of her ancestral land in Ecuador. Created in 2018/2019, the series foresaw a world drastically changed by the pandemic where isolation and remoteness brought us back to the essentials and nature became solace. For Rivadeneira who grew up knowing indigenous cultures of the Americas, this has always been the environment in which she feels comfortable. In her words, “Deep in the mind of every living human, there are memories that can be traced back millions of years, and they can be activated by specific sounds, patterns, and images.”


MEDA is a word that came to Rivadeneira while she was looking up at the sky. Rooted in Amerindian mythology and storytelling, MEDA is a visual anthology of the first woman who fell from the sky and how the first land embedded in her body as a memory. In her photographs, Rivadeneira captures naked bodies of women, their skins in close contact with the surface of rocks, grottos, dry hills, and ancient trees. These scenes, where darkness and light, heat and cool, tenderness and roughness, permanence and transience intersect, are the result of Rivadeneira’s attempt to seek a “voluntary, collaborative, and nonbinary” relation between humans and nature. Using the pigments derived from soils, rocks, and plants, her paintings/silkscreen contemplate the land, our origins, and the unforeseeable future.


Karen Miranda Rivadeneira (Born in New York City, 1983) was raised in both the United States and Ecuador. She earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and holds a post-graduate degree for her studies in photography at the Danish School of Journalism. Her work has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum, the United Nations, and the Photographic Museum of Humanity, among others. She has been an artist in residence in the US, France, and Italy and has taught photography at the California Institute of the Arts, and the City University of New York. Rivadeneira has received multiple awards and fellowships including the Photographic Fellowship at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, the New York Foundation for Arts Fellow in Photography, and the Individual Artist grant by the Queens Council of the Arts. Her first monograph Other Stories/Historias Bravas was published in 2017 by Autograph ABP. Her work was featured in the Native America issue of Aperture Magazine (no. 240) last fall and was included in the book Latinx Photography in the United States by Elizabeth Ferrer published this year in January.