An American artist focusing on drawing, painting, printmaking, and wearable sculptures, Maria de Los Angeles (@delosangelesart) was born in Mexico and raised in Sonoma County. She is the full-time Critic and Assistant Director of Painting and Printmaking at the Yale School of Art.
My multidisciplinary studio practice includes drawing, painting, installation, performance, and muralism. The main themes in my work are about exploring belonging and identity at the intersection of the personal and universal. It is rooted in my immigrant experience in the United States. Growing up undocumented had a transforming impact on my sense of belonging and worldview. My two-dimensional works convey social commentary, personal stories, and universal experiences using narrative and abstraction.
Some of my work is autobiographical, others are inspired by the community, family, and the news. I begin by drawing from my imagination and then, later, from photographs, combining the two to create layered narratives. I like the meaning in my work to unfold slowly, with people discovering elements and moments they didn’t see at first. I think about time, and the time needed to fully take in the emotional and psychological impact of a painting and its story. My images are layered with a combination of myth, actual situations, culture and political symbols, spirituality, and sometimes humor. I often contemplate how myth, allegory, and individual experience merge to create our perspectives. I’m highly influenced by magic realism, the feminist movement, and political art.
Mixed media drawing installations have become a way to see a mural before it has been composed. The idea of many voices coming together is how I think about the collaboration. When projects are being created in collaboration with community, the process is similar. A mural is community and proof that we can do something together and bring our range of experiences to the piece.