Statement + Bio
I create mixed-media paintings, collages and installations of maps to explore the psychosocial odyssey of navigating the world as an immigrant. Mapping serves as a metaphor for the physical and metaphysical journeys taken in migration and the constant negotiation between placement and belonging. By pushing mapping into abstraction, I question the authority of maps as a voice of truth to reveal their absurdity, mystery and impermanence, and explore the tension between the concrete and the imaginary.
My work is heavily driven by my process, which is experimental and playful, but also delicate and tactical, cutting into the atmospheric gestures with line and blade. I create a visual push and pull that complicates the paintings and installations to feel like they might be in outer-space and underwater at the same time. I often work on the floor, pouring, layering and working the paint by hand, followed by collage and drawing. The forms, compositions and textures in the maps develop intuitively over time, and in this sense, mapping becomes a journey in itself where the image emerges over time.
As an immigrant to the US from Ecuador, and recipient of DACA, I create work from a desire to find meaning in feelings of displacement and immobility, but also imaginative freedom and hope. I want to create a space to dialogue about the possibilities of a future where the places we inhabit morph as fluidly as when we transition between them. Where borders, imposed or self-made, don’t become limits of our potential for exchange and livelihood. I’m interested in thinking about what a latinx futurism looks like mapped out in the abstractions of our collective imaginaries and how experimentation with materials like paint and paper can become the platform for an immersive meditation.
Francisco Donoso was born in Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Miami, Florida. After attending the prestigious New World School of the Arts, he received his BFA in Painting & Drawing from Purchase College, SUNY. In 2012 he was a fellow at the New York Center for Art and Media Studies and in 2013 a Van Lier Fellow at Wave Hill. He was also the Artist in Residence at Stony Brook University and named a Hot Picks artist by Smack Mellon in 2014 & 2018. He is currently participating in the Artist in the Marketplace program at The Bronx Museum. Francisco has exhibited throughout NY, Berlin, and Miami and continues to work and exhibit in NYC. He is also the Program Administrator for the Parsons Scholars Program, where he explores the intersections of art, education and social justice.