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The Great Pretenders

by Joseph Maldonado

Last Dino

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Raison Detre

Grumpy This Guy

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Statement from the Artist:

As an artist, I am actively engaged with the line of thought pertaining to language and translation. Refining my ability to create and conceptually transform references from reality into artistic commentary of this world. The results are crude and playful interpretations to themes of mixed heritage and identity, loss of history, and the perception of wealth vs poor, high vs low art. Influenced and inspired by (Graffiti Artists) like Lee Quinones and later Jean-Michel Basquiat, I developed an affinity towards spray cans, odd material or surfaces, as well as a multitude of different mark making tools like oil sticks, drip cans, and paint markers. My process can be described as an experimental method of assemblage where I intuitively juxtapose imagery, text, and symbols to create a visual narrative or message to the viewer. Thus, allowing me to feel unlimited and give rise to new lines of visual thought and vocabulary.

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Joseph Maldonado was born in Dallas, Tx. He began his prolific doodling career upon different surfaces around town while in high school. He is an American artist and independent curator. In 2015, Joseph moved to Kansas City, MO to attend the Kansas City Art Institute where he studied illustration and Art History. Joseph received the Carnegie Mellon Curatorial Fellowship in July 2016. The fellowship consisted of workshops, tours, group collaborations, individual projects and discussions. It was here that Joseph developed an understanding of curatorial practices through co-curating exhibitions; responsibilities included design for exhibit floors and installation of artwork. In 2017, Joseph completed an outdoor mural for Whittier Elementary in the Kansas City metroplex. Wrapping up his education in Kansas City, Joseph transferred to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2019 where he currently attends the Institution of American Arts. He is expected to graduate this summer in May 2022.

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