Arlene Mejorado is a lens-based artist from Los Angeles working with analog and digital photography, 16mm film, video, archives, zines, and mixed-media installations. Disciplined in the documentary practice, she is interested in pushing beyond its limitations to construct images that combine environmental schema with potentiality, ambiguity and staged interventions. Her work often converges interior life and intimate memories with the public urban landscape and ambient conditions. Informed by her upbringing in a migrant household, Mejorado is interested in repair work, countering erasure and mending fragments in personal, collective, diasporic, and migration experiences and stories. Her adolescent experience navigating the San Fernando Valley’s mundane yet spectacularized movie-making landscape as well as her participation in the LA punk scene and countercultural spaces fostered a critical vantage point that continues to influence her practice. Mejorado makes images that contemplate temporality of place and collective placemaking. Her photographic process has allowed her to stage new possibilities, to invite intimate exchange, and to pursue a sense of belonging.
Mejorado has been awarded the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellowship, the DocX fellowship with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the NALAC artist grant, and the Lucie Foundation Independent Book Award. Her photography has been published in Vogue, Teen Vogue, The Atlantic, The California Sunday Magazine, Pop-Up Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Her practice extends into the archival space through her work on special projects with the Human Rights Documentation Initiative, The Latin American Benson Collection, and El Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen in San Salvador, El Salvador. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and will be completing her M.F.A. in Visual Arts in the Spring of 2023 at The University of California in San Diego. Her project, Caricias is currently a part of the Los Angeles Metro Art Photo Lightboxes series on view at the Hollywood and Highland Station.