My name is Isabel Merchand and I was born in New York City. I was raised in the diverse and creative neighborhood of Chelsea, in Midtown Manhattan. My father, Hernando Merchand, is a retired Spanish professor who graduated from Montclair State College. He came to the United States at the age of seventeen from Bogota, Colombia. My mother, Maria Merchand, is a retired NYPD employee who was born in El Salvador.
The arts were always a part of my family’s dynamics. At a very early age, I was taken to Lincoln Center to appreciate ballet, classical music, and opera performances. I was also introduced to various museums, going with my family or on class trips, enjoying all the wonderful places New York City has to offer.
In 1970, my father realized that there were many Latinos who were opera singers, classical musicians, and artist of all kinds that did not have the guidance other cultures had. He decided to create a magazine specifically for those artists. He called the magazine Euterpe. In Greek mythology, Euterpe was one of the Muses presiding over music. He has organized classical concerts in Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, Cami Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center and in many other places to promote talented musicians who were starting their career.
I first showed my creativity at an early age with my drawings/sketches. I started off by drawing random items around my apartment. Once I started elementary school, my favorite class was always art. I would get compliments on my eye for details. I graduated from Cathedral High school where I was able to explore different types of arts such as painting, fashion design, and sculpting, and was a member of the art club throughout my four years. As I experimented with different arts, I fell in love with mixing colors and became very interested in nature; finding the sky and the change of its colors fascinating.
In 2000, I attended New York City Technical College, majoring in Art and Advertising. There, I also studied photography, life drawing, and typography. I continued to paint mostly focusing on landscapes, making peaceful art as a paradox to my everyday life in the busy streets of New York. My paintings have been displayed in various galleries in the city. In 2011, I became the editor for Hybridborn comics. A comic book series created by my husband, Robert Nunez.
When I was asked to provide a biography of myself for Guild Magazine, the question of what role an artist plays in our current society came about. The influence of an artist is powerful. It can shape thoughts, lives, societies and entire cultures. It is my belief that in a world driven by technology and political turmoil, the most important role of an artist is to continue to be creative. An artist thinks outside the box. This is what makes us unique from the rest of society. We aim to motivate, to see beyond what is in front of us, and to inspire others to look at things from a different perspective. – GM
“An artist thinks outside the box.
This is what makes us unique from the rest of society.
We aim to motivate, to see beyond what is in front of us, and to inspire others to look
at things from a different perspective.”
— Isabel Merchand