42nd Street Mural

Sofia Maldonado

Cuban Artists Fund

Sofia Maldonado painted a 92-feet mural depicting NYC women from her Puerto Rican – Cuban heritage. Flowing clouds of pastel colors provide the background for 12-foot tall images of beautiful and powerful women painted in an elaborate street-art style. The painted plywood panels on display at BLANK SL8 were installed on the outdoor construction fence at 219 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in the final week of February 2010.

The mural was a project of the Public Art Program of the Times Square Alliance in collaboration with the Cuban Artist Fund. The BLANK SL8 storefront provided exhibition opportunities for artists and designers in fashion, visual arts and design arts. BLANK SL8 is a program of the Fashion Center and the Times Square Alliance with support from the Port Authority. This project was made possible by support from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Special thanks to the Fashion Center BID, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and The New 42nd Street, Inc.

About the Mural

“My artwork intends and aims to represent brave, strong, and tough women who have to overcome struggles in their daily lives and sometimes impose themselves in a male-dominated world. In a post-feminist society these women can own their bodies in a powerful way without being depicted negatively. While a student in Puerto Rico, I painted murals in diverse boroughs of the island. I started to notice that in these communities, women were not being heard and/or represented in the media.

As an artist, I understand the importance of interacting with the locals before painting a mural in their neighborhood. My previous public art project in Hartford, Connecticut, commissioned by Real Art Ways, was placed in a Puerto Rican community. The community identified with my characters and did not feel offended. Women that worked at a nearby nail-art salon decorated characters in the mural by applying their aesthetic with acrylic nails designs, painting long eyelashes, glitter eye shadow, bright lipstick, tattooing their names and adorning their bodies with piercings. Through the Real Art Ways project, I had the opportunity to collaborate with women whose ideals of beauty are far from that of mainstream society. I was able to pick up on the life experiences that lead these women-- and others in similar positions--to their personal aesthetic choices, which I later intended to communicate with the New York audience in this mural piece commissioned by the Times Square Alliance.” - From the Artist, Sofia Maldonado

This project is presented in collaboration with the Cuban Artists Fund.