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Harmonia Rosales

Harmonia Rosales

Jennia Fredrique Aponte

Since the genesis of her career, Harmonia Rosales’s main artistic concern has focused on Black female empowerment in Western culture, depicting and honoring the African diaspora. 

As a young girl, the impeccable skill and composition of the Renaissance masters' fascinated her but the depiction of white hierarchy and the idealization of subordinate women, often falling under Eurocentric notions of beauty, dissuaded her passion. Thus, her message is not to create an ideal or simply to copy, but rather to create a sense of harmony between the struggling dichotomies. 

The artist is informed by the ebb and flow of contemporary society where she seeks to reimagine new forms of aesthetic beauty, snuggled somewhere between pure love and ideological counter-hegemony. 

Nourished by her multicultural Afro-Cuban background, the Black female subjects in Rosales’s paintings are in memory of her ancestors and function as a way to heal and promote self-love.  Her figures are astounding in the hues of their skin. The dark cast of her subjects is specifically meant to separate its viewer from physical reality and transport them to a world that largely transcends the two-dimensional canvas. In this universe, the Orishas represent physical manifestations of life’s healing tools. She asks that one sets aside any religious associations and focus on the historical meaning of each painting. These universal elements empower and provoke analysis and communication. 

To further express the spiritual world, Rosales places blue and silver hues onto the subject’s skin, creating a natural luminescent glow against an often contrasting background. Additionally, the gilding of metals and rust provide a unique balance to her composition, allowing for a variety of textures on the canvas and serving as a motif for moral decay in society.  

Rosales draws on the energy of living life as a woman of color and society's objectification of that identity. Yet her subjects embody something within us all as they serve as conduits to an inner struggle within our society, which she depicts through metaphorical crowns and deities.  The primary purpose of her art is and will always be to encourage sympathy, empathy, and empowerment.


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