Isabella Mellado


Isabella Mellado is a painter and educator native to San Juan, Puerto Rico. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018 and her Masters in Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2023. Mellado is best known for her magical realist paintings on latinidad, queer identity and tarot. She works in a wide range of media including painting, photography, costume design, digital collage and sculpture.

Mellado’s paintings are to the artist as sigils are to the witch, and are a visual exploration of self actualization through relationships—coven, platonic, romantic, familial & self. Through painting, she underlines queer trauma and Catholic shame by making reference to religious symbolism found in renaissance and medieval art. By relating gargoyles, demons and angels as seen in Catholic art to the contemporary queer coded figure in their paintings, Mellado questions moralizing tales as seen in the European art canon. Mellado’s work centralizes queer narrative, womanhood and latinidad as she has lived it, framing it with symbolism taken from mythology, folklore, tarot, astrology and Puerto Rican culture.

Isabella Mellado, The Fool, 2024, oil on canvas, 48x72". Photo courtesy of the artist.