Andria Morales

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My artwork portrays different facets of identity, exploring personal and cultural narratives through a variety of media.   I am fascinated by the complex and elusive nature of selfhood in society.  My work in sculpture is focused on the creation of objects that express individuality. These objects are my idea of “contemporary artifacts” that suggest information about myself and the culture in which I live from an imaginative perspective.  Performing allows me to play out scenarios that push my personal boundaries, while contemplating how that relates more broadly to traditions of representing identity and otherness.

The portable, wearable audio sculptures I make are inspired by urban life, where people blast music and dress loudly to establish their presence.  I use 3D modeling and printing technology, or modify store bought objects to create custom enclosures for the electronic components that I wire, solder, fasten and weave together with decorative elements by hand.  Depending on the context in which the sculptures are displayed, I layer and amplify the sound they emit to evoke specific places or give voice to underrepresented attitudes.  These devices are not only disruptive, but transformative when worn on the body, and I experiment with these qualities in my performances with them.

For instance, I collaborated with musician Ala Muerte on a high volume performance that featured my wearable audio sculptures during the opening of the VOLTA NY Art Fair in 2016.  Having been invited to perform as part of the curated section titled Something I Can Feel, it was important to me that the performance be powerful enough to penetrate a commercial space packed with over a thousand people, even if that meant forcefully stirring an unpleasant sense of disquiet.  Ala’s blaring guitar and the high pitched recorded screaming from her speaker necklace cleared a space around a set of custom speaker towers I fabricated, where the two of us made an uncomfortable ruckus for onlookers.

In Last Ride (2011), I staged a funeral for myself in the style of a “muerto parado,” a lifelike display of a deceased person made popular by the Marin funeral home in Puerto Rico.  I collaborated with Beth Beverly of Diamond Tooth Taxidermy to stage a two and a half hour long viewing at the Rotunda, an old church converted into an arts space in Philadelphia.  I sat still for the duration of the viewing on an adult tricycle which carried a bass amplifier that I customized for the performance.  A mixture of ambient sound, classical, R&B, hip hop, heavy metal and reggaeton death-themed music filled the space as people whispered amongst themselves and posed for pictures with the body.

Identity transformation is a concept I explored intimately when my best friend from adolescence invited me to help document his transition from female to male.  I felt that if he was going to make himself vulnerable by posing nude for the portraits, I should take photos of the two of us exposed standing side by side.  We repeated the same series of poses each month for the first six months of his hormone replacement therapy until my friend moved across the country.  Four years later, we finally had another chance to restage the photos.  I published a small selection of the series in a 12 page full color zine titled “AS YOU CHANGE 2010 + 2104.”  Each zine is accompanied by a wallet sized photo of the two of us in our high school band uniforms in 2000.  I’ve also exhibited a larger selection of 40 images from the project in a non- linear array, emphasizing the ambiguity in the physical shifts that happen over time.

An identity document transformed into a unique, yet reproducible object is another example of sculpture I imagine as artifact.   In an era when people can easily copy and steal identities with the aid of a computer, the idea of a 3D printed identity document is a playful, subversive spin on counterfeiting.  To make them, I scan original documents, digitally alter the images to produce different names, signatures and numbers, and then map them onto three dimensional computer models which are rapid prototyped in full color with pigmented powder.  I enjoy the challenge of transforming one identity into a multitude of different personas whose gender, ethnicity, and citizenship status are all implied by the information rendered onto the object.

EDUCATION

2008 MFA, Sculpture, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
2004 BA, Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania (cum laude)

SOLO AND TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2017
Localidades Alternas with Frances Gallardo, curated by Sofia Reeser del Rio, MECANISMOS at MECA International Art Fair, San Juan, PR
2016
Confirmations, Declarations, Doubts: Andria Morales & Aaron McIntosh , Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
2015
Public Play , Practice Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2014
Yo Soy Oro , with Maya Escobar, Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, PA
2013
The Resurrection of Hun-Nal-Ye , with Maya Escobar, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO 2011 Last Ride , with Diamond Tooth Taxidermy, The Rotunda, Philadelphia, PA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS & PERFORMANCES

2017
Still Here , Fuerza Fest 2017, Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center, New York, NY 2017 Elective Affinities: A Library , Hunter College Art Galleries, New York, NY
2017
Let Me Look At You , performance with Damien Davis, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA 2017 Bound by Paper , LMAK Gallery, New York, NY
2017
Pulse/ Trigger, performance with Damien Davis, Sine Gallery, Newark, NJ
2016
Home Perm 8, performance with Damien Davis, Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2016
Something I Can Feel , performance, curated by Derrick Adams, VOLTA, New York, NY
2015
Editions/ Artists Book Fair with Small Editions, New York, NY
2015
EXPO Editions and Books with Regina Rex , EXPO Chicago, Chicago IL
2015
JEWEL , Norte Maar presents @ Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY
2014
Endless Care , Small Editions, Brooklyn, NY
2013
Blue, White, Red , with Maya Escobar, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO
2012
PAPELES: Are We What We Sign? The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
2011
RICH-OO-UH’L, RICH-OO-UH’L, performance with Maya Escobar, Jolie Laide Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2011
WW6: New News is Old News , with Maya Escobar, Gallery Affero, Newark, NJ; Gowanus Studio Space, Brooklyn, NY
2009
About to Surface , The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA
2009
Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Recipients , CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY (cat.)
2009
ID , Projects Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2008
From One State to Another , Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

PRIZES AND AWARDS

2014-17
Emerging Artist Grant Nominee, The Rema Hort Mann Foundation, New York, NY
2014
Grant Nominee, Art Matters Foundation, New York, NY
2008
Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant

RESIDENCIES AND FELLOWSHIPS

2017
Focus on Puerto Rico, Mana Contemporary and Clocktower Productions, Miami, FL
2017
Taller Puertorriqueño Artist Commission, Knight Foundation Arts Challenge, Philadelphia, PA
2013-14
The Art & Law Program, New York, NY
2013-14
Workspace Residency, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY
2010-11
Visiting Scholar, NYU Steinhardt School, Department of Art/ Art Professions, New York, NY
2006-7
40th Street Artist in Residence Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Temple University Future Faculty Fellowship, Temple Rome Scholarship.

PUBLICATIONS

AS YOU CHANGE 2010 + 2104 , Edition of 100. Small Editions, Brooklyn, NY, 2014.
“ Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, and Home ,” Res: A Journal of Undergraduate Research, vol.1 no.1, 2004, 161-177

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Sargent, Antuwan, “ Body Politics Take Front and Center at NY VOLTA Art Fair ,” Vice.com, Mar 3, 2016.
Luff, Mel, “Andria Morales: AS YOU CHANGE 2010 + 2104,” People of Print , August 15, 2015.
Hoffheins, Meredith, “Endless Care @ Small Editions,” Painting is Dead , January 10, 2015.
Benjamin Sutton, “ 10 Must-Visit Studios, 10 Must-See Exhibitions and More at Bushwick Open Studios 2013, ” Artinfo , May 20, 2013.
Tyler Coburn, “ The Work of Amanda Nelsen, Matthias Pliessnig, Andria Bibiloni and Susan Kirby ,” CUE Presents: 2008 Joan Mitchell MFA Grant Recipients , June 2009.
JohnVettese,“ MovableStereotype ,”P hiladelphiaCityPaper, March 18, 2009.
Edith Newhall, “ Young Artists Pick Up Pen and Paper Again ,” The Philadelphia Inquirer , June 20, 2008.

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
El Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY
New York Public Library Spencer Collection, New York, NY
Oberlin College Library Special Collections, Oberlin, OH
Reed College Artists Book Collection, Portland, OR
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Joan Flasch Artists Books Collection, Chicago, IL Whitney Museum of American Art Special Collections, New York, NY
Yale University Library, New Haven, CT