Zella Vanié is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based in New York City.

They earned an MFA in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts, and have taught design courses at New York University and California College of the Arts. They served in the US Army as a satellite operator with deployments to Iraq and Haiti; and they are a proud board member of the Black Veterans Project.

Artist statement
My work centers the idea that personal and collective imagination are a powerful tool for liberation here and now. I believe that, in order to feel joy, to love, to forgive, to conceptualize how to be free, I must first imagine that these acts and ways of existing are attainable. My imagination exists beyond the gender binary. It exists beyond sadness and suffering. Beyond imperial power.

I create unique imagery of protest and Black queer identities, often drawing from autobiographical experiences, dialogue with my community, and precolonial Guro animism. The works are bright with color, often containing dualities of light and dark, beauty and sorrow, freedom and captivity.

Above all, my work aims to ask new questions about what it means to be free, while being a mirror for Black queer people, visualizing our beauty, divinity, and boundless new worlds that have always been ours to take up spiritual residence in.