Miguel Angél Monzón was born in San Bernardino, CA in 1989 but has lived most of his life in Phoenix, AZ. He graduated Magna cum laude at Arizona State University with a BFA in Intermedia in 2016. His work often deals with his experience as a first generation Mexican-American and the language barrier within that context. He works in traditional as well as non-traditional media and employs the strategies that are best suited for the subject matter he is pursuing. He, like early modern artists is dedicated experimentation in a process that is forever evolving. Monzón is well versed in media production from conceptualization, shooting, to post production and is invested in drawing influence from this type of media and it’s processes into his painting/printmaking and vise versa.
Growing up Mexican/American deeply influenced Monzon’s need to learn about his ancestral history. The Mexican Inquisition, in particular, caught his attention and changed how he perceived Catholicism and religion as a whole. It led him to see how a culture under colonial oppression could still keep their principles and beliefs through the careful transmutation of concepts forced upon them. Though not exactly the same, he later related this with his experience of being forcibly kept in ESL classes throughout his youth. He remembers being filled with anger and frustration, but it made him want to surpass the expectations placed upon him. It was not until he got older that he could see that he made a positive from something that seemed to be so negative.
This is what his work is about, an attempt to transmute the negativity into positivity without all of the usual visual cues, discarding kitsch and opting for honesty and experimentation within in a new meta-modern pastiche. Trying to find a new way of doing things, combining it all, all the while not losing sight of this reality/moment. A Mexican-American takes all-American abstraction and re-configures it to reflect his experience.