First published in the Sept. 24 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
The Museum of Neon Art will feature Leticia Maldonado’s “The Storytellers” on display Oct. 8 through Feb. 11.
The opening will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, and is free to the public. This is the first solo museum exhibition for the artist.
Maldonado, according to the museum, “challenges the conventions” of sculpture as well as the constraints of the medium of neon through her multimedia works. In this exhibition, life-size sculptural forms made out of neon, Plexiglas, found objects and vintage technology speak to narratives that bind memory, intimacy and history.
“Leticia Maldonado’s work is emblematic of the dynamic work being produced in neon today, as well as the vibrancy of this artform which has been passed down for the past 100 years,” said MONA Executive Director Corrie Siegel in a statement. “Leticia is an incredibly accomplished neon bender, as well as a fascinating artist invested in pushing the limits of her practice.”
For the past 10 years, Maldonado has honed a “unique approach” to artmaking which marries an interest in multimedia, as well as her skill at bending intricate, three-dimensional forms out of neon glass. The motifs of the human figure, roses and birds often repeat and overlap in her work in order to create line-based sculptures that shift depending on the viewer’s perspective. In this exhibition, Maldonado mines her biography to offer various perspectives on loss through three sculptural installations.
“Every day on this earth, someone sees or experiences something for the last or only time. So, to be anywhere at any time is to be a potential witness of a pivotal memory,” Maldonado said. “Sometimes we share these experiences with others intentionally, and sometimes they come out in an unguarded moment. I’m interested in how memories filter through other life experiences, how a sunset watched through tears can infuse itself into a warm handshake years later. I believe that we all hold elements of a larger story for each other, and I wanted to try and make that personal emotional coexistence visible with the sculptures that comprise ‘The Storytellers.’”