With a BFA in Photography and Sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art, multidisciplinary artist Alessandra Mondolfi describes herself as a “Jill of all Trades.”  A recipient of multiple grants and awards, including a Fulbright Grant to Barcelona, Spain, she has exhibited throughout the globe with works ranging from altered photographs to elaborate large scale multimedia installations. These days, Alessandra Mondolfi  perceives herself  primarily as an artist/activist, whose political artworks surface on the streets of Miami and beyond. I recently had the opportunity to speak to her.

When did you begin to direct your creative talents to the political sphere?

It happened right after the 2017 Women’s March. That was a huge turning point. I took to the streets then using art props as tools of protest. I haven’t stopped, and I’m not stopping. I’m a proud member of the middle-age resistance.

What prompted you to do so? To become so active?

The 2016 Presidential election. It’s a gut reaction to our current state of affairs. These times call for drastic action. Having come of age in Venezuela, I saw first-hand attacks on democracy and on people’s basic values as Chavez ran on a populist front — socialist, but populist. No one took him seriously. They thought of him as a joke. They didn’t think he could win. And when he did, he  destroyed his country. The similarities between him and Trump are staggering. My strongest weapon against this kind of  fascism is my creativity.

How has your in involvement in this movement impacted you?

It’s been therapeutic. Creating art is a way for us to release our anxieties and give us a sense of purpose, especially in times like these.

And what about others? How has your work impacted others? What kinds of responses has it elicited?

The props that I’ve used at various protests have been shown around the world in a range of media — in print, online and on television. I feel as though I am creating the visual message of the resistance for the media to transmit. Much of what I’ve created has gone viral.  Getty and AP images have surfaced in newspapers throughout the world, including Turkey, Bulgaria and India.

What’s ahead?

I’m now working on new props for the March 24th, March for Our Lives in Parkland. These will be followed by wheatpastes that I will post wherever I can.

I’m so glad you’re doing this! Thank you!

Photos: 1 & 3 Lois Stavsky; 2, 4 & 5 courtesy the artist; Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky


Speaking with Hellbent

August 9, 2012

"Hellbent streetart"

A few years back, a distinct jaw crafted onto a range of tantalizing backgrounds — signed Hellbent — began to surface on boards posted onto sundry surfaces on NYC streets.  These days, Hellbent’s  enticing, evolving visual rhythms increasingly grace large walls, as well. We recently had the opportunity to visit Hellbent’s studio and pose a few questions to him:

We love your wondrously inventive abstract artwork that recently surfaced on the streets of Bushwick and at Welling Court. But — I suppose — many of us will always identify you with your iconic jaw bone. Could you tell us something about it?

The idea of the jaw came to me about five or six years ago. It was inspired by a story I read about Freud’s battle with jaw cancer and how – early into his diagnosis – he was saved by a dwarf, a hospital roommate who alerted the physicians when a speechless Freud was hemorrhaging.  Besides its reference to psychoanalysis, the jaw also suggests basic human functions such as speaking and eating. More after the jump!