Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Joiri Minaya

Interdisciplinary Visual Artist

New York, NY

Instagram @joiriminaya

My work is a reassertion of Self, an exercise of unlearning, decolonizing and exorcizing imposed histories, cultures and ideas. Challenging both Global North’s capitalist imperialist narrative and Global South’s nationalist patriarchal rhetoric, it counters dangerous equations of women and nature centered in desire and consumption, control and conquest.

The “Tropical,” constructed by colonial desires historically, is now a kind of universal ready-made: decorative, interchangeable, disposable, branding “authenticity” and freshness. Inter-disciplinarily, I explore the performativity of tropical identity as product: entertainment, distraction, pleasure, paradise, fantasy, leisure, service, and the laboring body that maintains it all. 

I look back at the Gaze othering me, consuming not only body but also culture, by seeming to fulfill, but instead sabotaging its expectations.

I find power in an embodiment that evidences the viewer’s complicity in the construction. I craft the complex, multi-layered, expansive and humanized experience I crave from within this reclaimed position. I internalize, then bring this gaze back out, re-performed, re-arranged, deconstructed, self-evident.

My work is rooted in performance, collage and pattern design, but combines a variety of other mediums and crafts. Recent works (printmaking, transparencies, perforated vinyl, fabric-covered bodies) use opacity and refusal as shelter from demands of hyper-visibility and control.

Joiri Minaya (she/her; b. 1990, New York, NY) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work navigates binaries in search of in-betweenness, investigating the female body within constructions of identity, multicultural social spaces and hierarchies. Recent works focus on questioning historic and contemporary representations of black and brown womanhood in relation to an imagined tropical identity from a decolonial stance.

Born in New York, Minaya grew up in the Dominican Republic. She graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Visuales of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic (2009), the Altos de Chavón School of Design (2011) and Parsons the New School for Design (2013). She has participated in residencies like Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Guttenberg Arts, Smack Mellon, BronxArtSpace, Bronx Museum AIM Program, the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists, Transmedia Lab at MA Scène Nationale, Red Bull House of Art Detroit, Lower East Side Printshop, Art Omi, ISCP, Vermont Studio Center, New Wave, Silver Art Projects, Fountainhead and Light Work.

Minaya has exhibited internationally across the Caribbean and the U.S. She is a grantee from Jerome Hill, BRIC’s Colene Art Brown’s Award, NY Artadia, the Nancy Graves Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (Emerging Artist Grant), the Joan Mitchell Foundation (Emerging Artist and Painters and Sculptors Grants), Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship, the Great prize and the Audience Award XXV Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes, the Exhibition Prize Centro de la Imagen (D.R.), and the Great Prize of the XXVII Biennial at the Museo de Arte Moderno (D.R). Minaya’s work is in the collections of the Santo Domingo Museo de Arte Moderno, the Centro León Jiménes, the Kemper Museum, El Museo del Barrio and several private collections.

Selected Works

A person wearing a full coverage bodysuit with a tropical print crouches in front of a tropical backdrop.
Fragmented cut-outs of women’s body parts are suspended in air, some of which are photographs, and others of which feature silhouetted forms covered in tropical floral prints.
Six tropical print shirts are framed against tropical backdrops in two rows. Text on one shirt reads “Invaders 1965” and “Decorative fleeting interchangeable disposable” on another.