Alyssa Aviles is a visual artist and arts educator based in San Francisco, California. She was born and raised in the city’s Mission District, a place whose spiritual geography has influenced much of her work and career. Aviles received a BFA in Printmaking from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work explores the intersecting identities of the Latinx woman through personal and collective narratives.
Working primarily in this medium, Aviles explores the symbolic relationship between the graphic arts and her Latinx heritage. Aviles' work connects pre-colonial spirituality and cosmology to contemporary urban experiences through a metaphorical, mythological realm. Aviles develops contemporary archetypes that allude to indigenous and matriarchal ideologies. She dismantles colonial oppression through an iconography that explores how inner city communities have sustained and reinvented ancient traditions and belief systems. Aviles illustrates the complexities of post-colonial identity and displacement as a product of systematic oppression. Her work imagines a sublimation towards empowerment and regeneration. Drawing on themes of cultural identity, the divine feminine and spiritual geography, Aviles navigates between physical and psychological borders. She invents supernatural figures and landscapes that portray the convoluted reality of being a womxn of color in post-colonial America. Her intricate layering of memory and symbolism asks the viewer to dissect preconceived notions of femininity and westernization; her work is a metaphorical journey towards liberation and transcendence.