Artist Statement: Velez’s goal in creating “How to Live Like a Star” was to produce a humorous, artistic, meditative study of the powerful forces that rule our skies and our screens. In her project, “star” holds dual meanings, referring to the subjects of astronomy research and tabloid magazines. Through interviews with Rachel Bezanson and graduate and undergraduate observational astronomy researchers, Velez gained a deeper understanding of the universe — and how much there is left to discover. Her work juxtaposes astronomy research with celebrity facts and collaged images from women’s magazines, in addition to Velez’s illustrations.
“How to Live Like a Star” explores the profound lessons that humble stargazers can draw from these celestial bodies. With her project, Velez grapples with timeless questions, such as: What elements do we need for a satisfying life? How do we quantify success? How do catastrophic events transform us? When is it time to die?