A 92 feet long by 12 feet high mural by Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado has been, for the past couple of weeks, the focus of attention, praise, criticism and debate on 42nd Street in New York City.
I met with Sofia this past weekend right next to her work, to not only take photos of her with the women she portrayed, but also to hear, in her own words, what the inspiration was for the mural.
Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to New York about 4 years ago to complete studies at the Pratt Institute,
Before being commissioned by the Times Square Alliance to create the mural, she mentions she had been working with this type of female images since her high school days, having taken experiences and inspiration from "barrios"or local neighborhoods in Puerto Rico and in Hartford, Connecticut, home to a large Puerto Rican community,
She's inspired by the way some women in the Island and throughout the Caribbean dress, wear their hair, jewelry and go about their daily lives
She refers to the mural as a recompilation of memories, different female images she had used in earlier projects and from her own experiences in her current neighborhood, Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.
I asked Sofia to share her thoughts- she talks about her background, inspirations, her take on the controversy generated by her work .and even her political vision for her homeland.
For more on Sofia and her work, go to
The "dobbie" Sofia refers to is sort of a hair roller-wrap or set-up women use.
You can see a photo of the "doobie" woman in the mural in my next post.