Chris Mendoza



Artist Bio

Christian Mendoza is a New York City based artist from Nicaragua whose work draws from the experiences of his native country and the influences of New York City and Miami. Mendoza’s style bridges the modern, primitive, and organic. He draws strongly on the nature and folklore of his homeland, while interpreting the density and chaos of daily urban life.

In the 1980’s his family moved to the Bronx, where Mendoza began to develop a style that combining architectural draftsmanship he learned from his father with the new inspirations of letters, faces, and forms that then covered the subways of New York City. At a young age, he learned drafting and about architecture from his father. This inspiration brought Mendoza to the study of Mayan, Central and Native American Cultures, hieroglyphs, petroglyphs, calligraphies, and alphabets from both ancient and modern cultures, which also inform his work. With great dedication he continued his study of world alphabets, color, and movement as well as the work of Matta, Kandinsky, Miro, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Mendoza returned to New York in 2000, where he now lives and works in a range of styles that culminate all the influences of his early development. Strongly rooted in architectural drawings, machines, and Central and North American Indian art, Mendoza has developed a unique language of spiky, angular symbols that blend the natural and mystical folklore of his childhood with the density and chaos of urban life. His paintings are grounded with descriptive line work that creates a sense of movement and energy. A visual manifestation of the sonic combinations found in early Hip-Hop mix tapes and performances emanate from his surfaces.

Mendoza has been in exhibitions at Museo de Arte, San Juan; White Box Gallery, New York; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem; Transport Gallery, Los Angeles; and Dyezu-Exp Gallery, Tokyo. His work has been featured in Floor Magazine Japan, V Magazine, Relax, and The Miami Herald. He has been commissioned by Nissan, Scion, Timberland, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, BeamsT Tokyo, SSTV Network, altoids, Nextidevolution, and truth & soul Records. (bio)

Artist Statement

My artwork is a reflection of my everyday observations around the city and sensing its motion, speed, and rhythm. Specifically, the act of seeing architecture inspires daily drawing studies of physical structures as they take on new indelible forms in my mind’s eye and around nature. The drawings and paintings are not limited by this action, but are also indirectly informed by my childhood experiences in Nicaragua, and the influences of places like New York City, Miami and Tokyo as well as historical and mythical studies of the Central and North American Indian cultures, such as Mayan, Inca and Native American pictography. As a child, I began to develop a personal style that combined the architectural draftsmanship I learned from my father with the new visual inspirations of letters, faces and Wild Style forms that covered the subway machines of New York City. Encountering this experience allowed me to become interested in world alphabets with later studies of the works of Matta, Kandinsky, Miró, and Frank Lloyd Wright. My paintings are grounded with non-narrative descriptive and/or iconographic line work that creates a sense of movement, energy and abstract stories. Much of my symbolic information is a visual manifestation of the sonic combinations found in early Hip-Hop mix tapes, the noise of the city, its broken symphony and musical performances I attend. Music plays a vital role in my creative process. To me, drawing is a blue print for all things to be able to exist. This is the way I have a dialogue with myself; a way to write down plans and ideas that come to me in the daily act of living. By drawing, visualizing and composing abstract concepts in my mind, and on paper I am reminded of my daily habits, a common thread of the human condition.

Chris Mendoza at the Joshua Liner Gallery

Chris Mendoza at COlab