42nd Street Mural by Sofia Maldonado

Located between 7th and 8th Avenues, NYC

Sofia Maldonado describes the new mural. 

 “The mural illustrates strong New York City women as a tribute to the Caribbean experience in America. Inspired by my heritage, it illustrates a female aesthetic that is not usually represented in media or fashion advertising in Times Square. It recognizes the beauty of underground cultures such as reggaeton, hip-hop and dancehall and incorporates trends such as nail art and Latina fashion. Green organic forms represent the imaginary land that third generation immigrants create in their minds about their countries of origin. I represent the characters and happenings that tourists usually do not see in Times Square, even though it could be a frequent scene in the other boroughs of New York City. These women are strong single mothers or wives who enjoy life and have overcome tough experiences living in and immigrating from a third world country.”

Close-up of 42nd Street Mural


Sofia Maldonado

Sofia Maldonado was born in Puerto Rico in 1984 and moved to New York City in 2006 to attend the Master of Fine Arts program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.  Her artwork draws on her Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage and her personal interests with fashion trends, the Latina female aesthetic, and various street culture elements such as skateboarding, graffiti, and music

Maldonado has created many murals on abandoned buildings and skateboard parks. Last year in the northeast USA she created a large mural for Real Art Ways in the Frog Hollow community Hartford, CT, and exhibited paintings at Painted Bride Art Center (Philadelphia) and Taller Puertorriqueño (Philadelphia).  Outside of New York, she exhibited at Graffiti Gone Global during Art Basel (Miami), Girl by Girls at Spacejunk Gallery (France), Hybridity at the SOMArts Cultural Center (San Francisco), 10th Havana Biennale (Cuba), Graphopoli Urban Art Biennale (Puerto Rico).

Walking down 42nd Street


5 responses to “42nd Street Mural by Sofia Maldonado

  1. Alejandro Padilla

    Unfortunately I just left NYC from vacation. I wish I would have had the opportunity to see this wonderful mural in person. My friends who live in the area told me about this great art work. I am Dominican and I’m proud to see some wonderful art work representing latinos and african-americans in a manner that portrays our wonderful women.

  2. Sofia Maldonado is one of the most recognized artists from Puerto Rico today. This mural is an example of why this is so. Excellent work.

    Much respect and admiration.

  3. I saw this mural, a few weeks ago. While I was a bit taken aback, by the grittiness of the imagery, I was glad to see this. While the images may appear stereotypical, I can feel the true meaning behind this mural. Wonderful work Sofia. Please keep true to your art, and it’s message.

  4. Impresionante trabajo. Que viva mi patria Puerto Rico. Eso!

  5. Last summer, I had the pleasure of working with Sofia Maldonado as part of Real Public, four public art projects commissioned by Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. Sofia created a mural on the façade of the Pelican Tatoo building in the Frog Hollow neighborhood titled Hey Shorty! Tu tienes novio? (Do you have a boyfriend?). The mural’s intent was to portray the rural and floral landscapes of Puerto Rico and Latin America while celebrating the diversity of the women in the community. She thought of this project as a way to revive the female attitude towards life, youth, motherhood, and community recreation.

    Frog Hollow is a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood. Before creating her mural, Sofia spent over a month in the community meeting with residents and local business people. She invited women from the Lily Nail Salon to adorn the exaggerated nails on her wooden cutouts before they were installed on the Pelican Tatoo building. There was such excitement about her project in the community. Many of the residents and business owners would come outside to watch her as she worked. Her work truly exemplified community spirit. Within this community, the mural’s depiction of women was a non-issue.

    In a place like New York City where diversity is celebrated for Sofia’s mural to evoke such a negative response is surprising and disappointing. Sofia’s work is not limited by mainstream expectations of positive representations of women, but instead reaches deep into communities to find strong women who DON’T conform to those stereotypes.

    I commend the Times Square Alliance for their support of Sofia’s work. Organizations such as these ensure that artists can stay true to their intentions and express their ideas in unexpected, sometimes controversial ways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s