Jotham Malavé Maldonado

Jotham Malavé Maldonado


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    Artist's Biography

    Jotham Malavé Maldonado (1989, Las Piedras Puerto Rico). Acquires the Associate Degree in Technologies of Telecommunications from the University of Puerto Rico in (2007). He studied at the School of Fine Arts of San Juan in the Department of Painting, from where he graduated with honors (2014).During his graduation from the MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Malavé was awarded prizes such as The Judith McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize for the Academy's Permanent Collection and The Woodmere Art Museum Purchase Prize both prizes will host Malavé’s works for their permanent collections. He has had several exhibitions in museums such as the Museo de Arte y Diseño de Miramar, Museo de Arte de Caguas, Museum of San Juan, Museum of Contemporary Art and in alternative spaces such as La Productora in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He currently lives in Philadelphia where he developed his work.

    Artist's Statement

    I explore my Puerto Rican heritage and humanity through figurative painting, drawing, and sculpture. In PR, our political history, art historical themes, and religious traditions have been buried under oppressive colonial culture and politics for centuries. These are the buried stories that fascinate me. I research and reimagine them in order to keep the socio-political context of my island alive for current and future generations.

    During the process of investigation, I explore the dynamics of realism and illusion through different lenses of oral history and documents taken from the news and government publications. This information goes through a process of re-enactment where the models assume the roles of the characters in a play. This interaction of the landscape and figures I manipulate, both digitally and through painting tries to establish a link between the reality and the imaginative. By questioning experience and memory I review my history and tradition as an act of meditation.

    The layers and substrates of history are not linear especially in the American continent where the revision, uses, and purposes of figurative painting have been cannibalized and inverted to be used against the colonizer. As the Cannibalist manifesto states, we eat all, we became everything. I feel the poetry behind the cannibalizing comes from the defiant resilient action of eating and digesting the interrelations of memory (pre-colonial) and projection (Postcolonial). Within these interactions of cannibalizing and meditation, I work towards a redeeming resolution of my relationship with my environment and Puerto Rican history.

    Selected Exhibitions

    Habitual, La Productora, Puerto Rico

    Festina Mox Nox, La Productora, Puerto Rico

    El Lenguaje de las Sombras, La Productora, Puerto Rico

    Vigilia, La Productora, Puerto Rico

    Paisajes del Acecho, El Cuadrado Gris, Puerto Rico

    Contemporary Portraiture: Redefining the Figure, Visionary Art Collective
    Juried online exhibition

    Res-o-nance, The Fellowship of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Online exhibition

    JUNTXS, Museo de Arte y Diseño de Miramar, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Acero, Historia y Futuro, Museo de Arte de Caguas, Caguas, Puerto Rico

    Once Upon a Time on July 25, Leap Stem Puerto Rican Art Center, Camden, NJ

    No Stone Unturned, Spillway Collective, Philadelphia, PA

    Visita Abierta, El Bastion, Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico

    118th Annual Student Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia PA

    Proximity, Anna Zorina Gallery, New York NY

    Homage to the Kid in Me, Cherry Street Pier, Philadelphia PA

    Life Blood, PAFA MFA Candidate Exhibition, 1401 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA

    Facsimiles of Truth, Tuttleman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Mask Off, Jedidiah Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Residency Show, Dacia Gallery, New York, NY

    Correspondencia, El Lobi, Santurce, Puerto Rico

    Linea Dura, University of Puerto Rico Museum in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

    Después de la capucha, Casa de los Contrafuertes, Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Dimissus, Galería Diagonal, Santurce, Puerto Rico

    Swab Barcelona Art Fair, Km. 0.2 Gallery


    Ante el Espejo de la Muerte, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    X Florence Biennale Catalogue

    Caribbean: Together Apart Contemporary Artists from (parts of) the Caribbean

    Professional Experience

    2019 - Present
    Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Adjunct Professor

    Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

    2017 - 2020
    Artist Assistant for Elizabeth Osborne

    2012 - 2014
    Gallery Assistant at Roberto Paradise

    Private Collections

    Colección Reyes - Veray
    Colección Castro Barreto
    Colección Hernández Castrodad

    Awards & Honors

    InLiquid, Philadelphia, PA
    Wind Fellowship, Honorable Mention

    The Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
    Purchase Prize

    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    The Judith McGregor Caldwell Purchase Prize for the PAFA Permanent Collection

    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Trustee Scholarship


    Dacia Gallery, New York, NY


    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan
    BFA, Painting
    Magna Cum Laude

    Technology of Telecommunications, Universidad de Puerto Rico
    AA, Recinto Humacao (UPR)