Friday, May 7, 2010

Art or Painted Hoes?

I recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with muralist Sofia Maldonado for a spread for the C.O.P that I'm very excited about. The hype behind Maldonado is her most recent work, a commissioned piece she did for the Times Square Alliance on 42nd St, has been the cause of much dialogue, both postive and negative.
      Maldonado, who's style is in the streamline of a Latina Miss Van/Fafi, was greatly criticized because of how she chose to portray these women in her mural. In her previous work before this mural, she painted women w/green and blue eyes. In the 42nd St mural, she painted Latin & Carribean women with their nails did, hoop earrings, halter tops, dresses while they are depicted dancing, posing, and one on a skateboard.
 Quoting Maldonado from her blog, she states: "This mural represented a specific group," she added, referring to women in pop culture who, she said, are rarely represented in the fine arts.
  In numerous press coverage, Maldonado states that she chose to paint the underrepresented woman. Due to what she chose to paint and the manner, the women in it were automatically labeled "cheap hoes" and shedding a  negative light on women of color.
        First, let's establish, because a woman chooses to wear a cleavage baring shirt, that means she wants to sell her services? Because she wears hoop earrings, it means there is a lack of intelligence, and if she prefers her nails did versus a French manicure, it means she's automatically ghetto?
         In one interview, I read a complaint that why couldn't she paint a woman of color in a suit w/a brief case, showcasing a postive light on colored women? I'll just say if you think that a businesswoman doesn't indulge in some hoops, or cleavage when she goes out for happy hour or on the weekends after working in the office, you're sadly mistaken.
       I spoke with a close person in my life who is an artist, and they said it themselves "If you look hard enough at something, you'll find whatever it is you WANT to find in it." I believe that the criticizers of Maldonado's mural automatically sought out an negative connotation, art is all about perception, people. It's not a why, its just there.
       I salute Maldonado. Plus she's a hardass worker, only 25 and has had major works of art in Art in America, the Washington Post, NY Magazine, coverage on CNN, the Huffington Post... can't knock her hustle.

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