Individual exhibition until fall 2012. 

The Puerto Rican street artist, Sofia Maldonado presents – at only 27 – her first big retrospective at the MAC (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo) in Puerto Rico. This artist, who shares her life between New York and her country, is very prolific and involved in numerous artistic and community projects with a social dimension. Her murals, her immediately-recognizable style and her freshness make her one of the “the most well-known young artists in Puerto Rico, with an accelerated trajectory who puts forward the themes and work techniques of many emerging artists”, the director of the MAC Marianne Ramírez Aponte adds. 

On the occasion of Fever : Tropical Nostalgias & Urban Anxieties in Sofia Maldonado, the curator and art critic Carlo McCormick, true champion of the downtown scene, was invited to curate this exhibition.

Sofia Maldonado, Work in process © Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico
Sofia Maldonado, Work in process © Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico

Divided in 5 sections, the exhibition starts from the teenage hood drawings of Sofia Maldonado until her most recent works and projects. The scenography and the organization of the exhibition put in place by the museum allow presenting all the work themes of the young woman: Skate, Urban Art, Women, Products & Tropical Nostalgia.

In the Skate section, the culture of skate is put forward as well as its influence on the artist- who was able to paint on several occasions with the help of her skate. The spirit of that practice, the exploration and the urban adventure seen as appropriation of the public space, are at the core of this section- completed by that of Urban Art. As a matter of fact, the creations commissioned to Sofia Maldonado for public spaces are shown in this section. On the one hand, Skate and transgressions and rebellion, on the other hand Urban Art, ruled and commissioned. Street art, which nevertheless remains an “independent” discipline, is spontaneous and a great part of the exhibition is dedicated to this free creation which is not framed by rules, and that is beaten tracks when the wall truly becomes a symbol of expression and speech.

The Chicas (Women) section is dedicated to the “Latina” woman. A theme that has inspired a series on the bling and the culture of the body in Latin America. Those women who are almost always in her murals, those emancipated women who are put on display on the walls of the streets as if proud of who they are. The women by Sofia Maldonado go against the fashion of the macho thinking that still has the upper hand on gender relations in Latin America, even in the world. These women are strong and are almost like icons of the youth culture.

This section is followed by another section, on the relationship of trade and art, of the design of the objects to sell, and of art in the products. Art, even if it is street art and rebellious, can be connected to this new idea of an art accessible by the product. Is this an illusion or a new trend?

Finally, Fever: Tropical Nostalgias & Urban Anxieties in Sofia Maldonado ends on Nostalgia Tropical – an investigation on the ways in which the Puerto Rican identity of the artist can be found visually in her style and artworks. The colors, patterns, and the characters of the street artist are influenced by the “tropics” but also symbolize nostalgia for this Caribbean culture which is sometimes far away…

Sofia Maldonado, Work in process © Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico
Sofia Maldonado, Work in process © Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico

The inauguration will take place on Thursday 28 June from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Julio Rosado del Valle room and will be followed by a party with DJs until midnight.

On the occasion of this exhibition, it is possible to meet the curator and Sofia Maldonado on June 30 at 2 p.m. and participate to the seminar on the “young culture and art street” centered on the themes of the history of graffiti, on urban expression, on “urban youth marketing” as well as the skate culture, in September.

 

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico, Edificio Historico Rafael M. Labra, Avenida Ponce de León, angle Avenida Roberto H. Todd, Stop 18 in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Exhibition on view from Tuesdays to Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., from June 28 toi fall 2012.

Adults : $5, students, seniors, unemployed and children over 5 : 3$.

 

Headline picture’s credits : Exhibition’s poster © Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico