Growing up in Mexico, Catalina Delgado-Trunk developed a lifelong love of Mesoamerican cultural traditions, especially that of papel picado (cut paper). After a long career in the United States teaching French and ballet, she returned to art school in her 40s and reconnected with her childhood love. For two decades now, the artist has made cut- paper works that blend pre-Columbian stories and images with subjects from the contemporary world.
Delgado-Trunk is inspired by the “culture of synthesis” that is Mesoamerica, with its mix of indigenous, European, Asian, and African influences. Papel picado was inspired by the trade routes that brought carefully wrapped goods from the Philippines to western Mexico, and across land to Veracruz. In her work, the artist celebrates the rich traditions by condensing the complex stories of legend into readable images, bridging the divides that separate cultures.