Born in San Jose, California, artist Stella Chang grew up between the United States, Taiwan, and Canada. Her upbringing spanned these three countries and cultures, so that each time she landed in a different country, her sense of self, social norms, and even aesthetic preference had to change to assimilate with the dominant culture. By the time she was 12, she came to understand that whatever is deemed as “beautiful” is not necessarily set in stone. Instead, she learned to see that beauty is fluid and transient depending on who is viewing it.
Chang received her BFA at New York University in 2006, where she studied studio art under American painter Keith Mayerson and video art pioneer Peter Campus. This allowed her to develop a practice early on that easily shifted across mediums, blending drawing and painting with multimedia to create works that exist beyond a singular form. After NYU, she worked in the fashion industry for over a decade while nurturing her artistic practice. Her experience as a designer continues to inform her approach to art making today, especially with regards to form, color, silhouette, and the transformation of 2D concepts into 3D pieces. Currently she is an artist member of the prestigious Society of Illustrators and Salmagundi Art Club in New York City.
Stella founded Studio Allestra to encompass her artistic production across all mediums. Her original works on paper combine watercolor and ink in multilayered compositions illustrating fantastical and whimsical subject matter. Chang creates digital prints derived from these originals, adding in more details and textures. She has developed a sculptural practice combining 3D printing and glass/metal dibond prints to create conceptual and unusual sensory experiences for viewers. Her recent NFTs bring life to her drawings through video and collaborations with musical artists, resulting in works that are not bound by time or space.
Chang fully embraces the idea of creating the unseen, rather than focusing solely on creating work that is representational, figurative or based in realism. In this way, each piece becomes a visual exploration for viewers to experience a phenomena, be it social, racial, spiritual, historical, political, or simply a different type of beautiful. When encountering her work, Chang hopes that viewers are able to reflect on how they form opinions, or engage with the work, and as a result are able to discover more about the process that forms their own perspective.