Artist born in Havana, Cuba in 1968 and now residing in New York. Her large format photographs of fantastical narratives dramatize complex psychological states and identity. Mesa-Pelly carefully fabricates the environments in her photos, ranging from handcrafting the small bricks of a chimney to sewing the costumes her characters wear. Her use of theatrical lighting enhances the drama and brings her storytelling into surreal territory.
"In my work I create narratives that are woven together through the use of photography by examining fluctuations in identity and complex psychological states of being. Individually one body of work depicts protagonists situated in constructed locations such as shifting and collapsing living rooms, a chimney, a well, a cave, a pond, a tree stump and a forest.
I'm interested in pushing the boundaries of believability within the construction of an environment and the documentation of completely fabricated events and pseudo landscapes, such as venturing into a well, contemplating the surface of a pond or engaging in an ‘outer world’ that undermines and questions the expectations of cultural constructs by offering a bucolic alternative. . . .
By incorporating wide-ranging subjects present in our everyday experiences such as animated stuffed toys, cartoonish violence and our fascination with UFO abductions and other paranormal phenomenon, I am able to draw attention to a certain kind of human condition present in contemporary society. A condition I believe that promotes neurosis due to confusion between embodied experience and idealized images. This state of fluctuation is conveyed in the photographs by reference and illusion rather than explicit statement."