San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sofia Maldonado is a painter and muralist who uses color abstractions as a signifier of decay rather than a beautifying agent. Her studio work is nurtured by her colorful and bold public art projects. Maldonado’s site-specific paintings focus on neglected buildings and abandoned spaces. To create her massive compositions, she uses a sprayer machine which allows her to imprint gigantic marks on the surfaces. In 2015, she created Kalaña, a site-specific project in an old tobacco factory where walls, ceiling and floor were painted and, in this way, converting the abandoned space into an ephemeral creative hub for community workshops and musical performances. Photo documentation of this project was exhibited at the Whitney Museum Biennial, as part of the “Debfair” by Occupy Museums (2017).
Maldonado was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to a cuban mother. She obtained a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico (2006), and an MFA from Pratt Institute, New York (2008). Maldonado has created various projects in New York with The Bronx Museum, The Times Square Alliance, Groundswell Community Project, No Longer Empty; and The Ringling Museum, in Florida; Real Art Ways, in Connecticut; The 10th Havana Biennial, in Cuba; and many more international collaborations.
In 2012, she exhibited her first solo museum show, “Fever: Tropical Nostalgia and Urban Anxieties”, curated by Carlo McCormick, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico (MAC). That same year, she was awarded the Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant an in 2015, she won first prize at “La Bienal de Muralismo" hosted by Foundation for Puerto Rico.
Her work had been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design and El Museo del Barrio, New York, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, KY, The Ringling Museum, Florida, Atlantic Center of Modern Art, Canary Islands, 1st Asuncion Biennial, Paraguay. She has participated in a diverse of residency programs such as Vermont Studio Center Residency (2009), Caribbean Link II, Aruba, (2013), Beta-Local, Puerto Rico (2015) and Fits Art Foundation (2015).
In 2016, Maldonado’s commitment with Puerto Rico’s cultural development has lead her to establish HIELO (an artist residency) and Open Studio Project (an artist’ run space). Selected Books
Dawud Knuckles, (2014).The Art Album
Yoav Litvin, (2014). Outdoor Gallery
Lowery Sims, (2012). Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art, Craft, and Design
Matthew McLendon, (2011). Beyond Bling: Voices of Hip Hop in Art
Celina Nogueras Cuevas, (2011). Frescos: 50 Puerto Rican Artists under 35
Carlo McCormick, (2010). Fever: Nostalgias Tropicales Y Ansiedades Urbanas En Sofia Maldonado