Sofia Maldonado: Concrete Jungle Divas and Bling Bling Chicas

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Puerto Rican street artist Sofia Maldonado wields a wicked brush and an equally fierce attitude about female empowerment. In two current solo shows, one in New York and the other in Amsterdam, she celebrates hip-hop culture with paintings and drawings of what she describes as “concrete jungle divas” and “bling bling chicas.” Capturing female superstars — including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, J-Lo, and M.I.A. — with lively strokes on canvas, Maldonado presents a colorful combined vision of brains, brawn, and beauty. A gifted muralist who rallies community youth to contribute to the making of public projects and interior installations, Maldonado is as fearless, capable, and resourceful as the women she portrays.

Concrete Jungle Divas is on view at New York’s Magnan Metz Gallery through July 17, while Bling Bling Chicas runs through July 31 at Witzenhausen Gallery in Amsterdam.

Sofia Maldonado, Concrete Jungle Divas: Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, J-Lo, and M.I.A., 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint, urethane, 36 x 84 inches each. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Concrete Jungle Diva: Beyonce, 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint, urethane, 36 x 84 inches. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Concrete Jungle Diva: Rihanna, 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint, urethane, 36 x 84 inches. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Concrete Jungle Diva: Lady GaGa, 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint, urethane, 36 x 84 inches. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Concrete Jungle Diva: J LO, 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint, urethane, 36 x 84 inches. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Concrete Jungle Diva: M.I.A, 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint, urethane, 36 x 84 inches. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Rosie Perez, 2010, Gold dust, acrylic paint on canvas, 26 x 41 inches. Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Maluca, 2010, Acrylic and glitter on canvas, 26 x 41 inches, Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, El Capo, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 36 inches, (152.4 x 91.4 cm). Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY (work on view at Witzenhausen, Amsterdam)

Sofia Maldonado, La Bori, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 36 inches (152.4 x 91.4 cm). Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY (work on view at Witzenhausen, Amsterdam)

Sofia Maldonado, Untitled, 2010, Acrylic on canvas, 43 x 100 inches (109.2 x 254 cm). Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY (work on view at Witzenhausen, Amsterdam)

Sofia Maldonado, BedStuy, 2009, Ink and paint on paper, 11 3/4 x 14 1/4 inches (framed), (29.8 x 36.2 cm). Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY (work on view at Witzenhausen, Amsterdam)

Sofia Maldonado, Drawing 10 from the series Bed-Stuy, 2010, Ink on paper, 12.75 x 13.25 inches (framed). Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY

Sofia Maldonado, Drawing 4 from the series Bed-Stuy, 2010, Ink on paper, 12.75 x 13.5 inches (framed). Images courtesy of Magnan Metz Gallery, NY