Maria de Los Angeles is a New York City based artist, raised in California, Mexican born, whose imagery focuses on issues of migration, displacement, identity and otherness, working primarily in drawing, painting, installation, performance, fashion, and sculpture.
De Los Angeles received her MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University School of Art (2015), a BFA in painting from Pratt institute (2013), and an associate’s degree in painting from Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California.
Maria has been recognize for the work community oriented projects such as the creation of an arts programs for youth, receiving the Community Action Partnership’s award, and the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize awarded by Yale University. She is a visiting Professor at Pratt Institute and was an artist in residency at El Museo del Barrio (2017) and at Mana Contemporary (2015-2017).
As I create narratives through drawing both from observation, memory and imagination. My techniques range depending on the media being used. Watercolor and ink drawings are my favorite and it does not matter if they are done on paper, canvas, or on the format of a dress.
My personal history plays a decisive role in my work. As an undocumented immigrant, I learned to navigate a new culture and a new language. One of my projects right now is focus on visually question the idea of “American citizenship,”, our responsibility to the environment, and stereotypes of the immigrant community, specifically of undocumented peoples.
Migrating is both a physical experience and a psychological one and in my drawings those two sides to displacement are juxtaposed. Framing devices, such as thought bubbles, multiple frames, and scale structure the dual relationship of physical and imagined space.
My artistic practice has extended lately into wearable sculptures that discuss on their surface both internalized and social stereotypes. The dresses are also a celebration of biculturalism and a confrontation of those challenges.
The dresses constructed of different art materials and recycle materials are worn in performances by me and by volunteers. For me they are an incorporation of the body, the body as a canvas, and platform for a political and social discussion. Beyond the participation in political performances, my artistic practice reaches into community organizing, and distribution of information through the arts in social change movements. For me that is the foundation of art programs and artistic collectives.
I want to capture the contemporary life of individuals, creating images that are a type of social commentary on larger issues, such as immigration, politics, and ethical dilemmas.