My name is Grace Maldonado, I’m 17 years old, my nationality is Hondurean, and I was born and raised in Long Island. Raised by my single mother and my older sister, these two women have been my inspiration and support that has shaped me into becoming the artist I am today. A year ago I joined photography in eleventh grade with Mr. Boris, one of the most caring and supportive art teachers out there. I felt lost and helpless, seeking a path as I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future. I noticed that I loved creating different types of realms through my camera, experimenting with any material available to me. Moss, grass, leaves, flowers, nails, gel icing, string and more. Through this experimentation I found my passion and love for the arts, and as I grow I plan to keep experimenting and creating things that make the viewer wonder. I will become known for my art and I plan to work towards that goal everyday. The art I have created in this series is fueled by my pain and hurt throughout the last year. Each piece was created through countless hours of work and love to create, I hope you enjoy.
Women of the world today dress alike. They are like so many loaves of bread. To be beautiful one must be unhurried. Personality is needed. There is too much sameness. The world seems to only have a desire for more of this sameness. To be different is to be alone.
– Luisa Casati
Grace is like Man Ray, Kiki Smith and Marilyn Minter all rolled up into one artist. It’s hard to believe that at 17 years old she has developed a rare talent for composition and artistry usually found in more mature and established mixed media artists. She began drawing cartoons at a very young age but then put down her colored pencils for a long while. In her junior year in high school, art, once again, became a primary focus with a photography class. Grace acknowledges that her photography teacher helped re-awaken her passion for the arts. Initially Grace started with self-portraits and photos of her 2 sisters but is now experimenting with sculpture and paintings.
Her selfportrait titled “The Darkness of the Third Eye” is both beautiful and haunting. Bringing to mind, Man Ray’s 1922 portrait of his muse Marchesa Luisia Casati. Grace’s portraits, whether in black and white or in vivid color, are equally powerful and often provocative.
Earlier this year Grace entered a competition at The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, New York, which was open to all high school students in Nassau and Suffolk counties. There were 500 submissions and Grace’s work titled “Frame of Mind” inspired by Jason Aurelio-Thomas’s work “And How Does That Make You Feel?” was one of 91 pieces chosen for a month’s long exhibition.
I look forward to watching her grow and getting the acknowledgement that I believe is coming her way.
Haze for Breakfast
The Darkness of The Third Eye
All Eyes On You
In The Grasslands
Wrapped In Thought
Bite of Life
What Are You Hiding