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From his studio in Long Island City, he
creates eye-catching collages on paper and
cool sculptures, like his whimsical cat piece.
His work is based on the concept of using
found objects as the only source of material
and inspiration, and he says he really enjoys
it when his work speaks for itself.
“I like to think the city is filled with
delicious ready-made objects just ready
for the taking,” he added. “Everything
you see and can identify in my work is
something I found, love, and saved from
ending up in the trash. As a hoarder, my
studio is full of that.”
His advice: “Never underestimate the
objects around your New York apartment
or at your 9 to 5. There’s always some-thing
you can turn into something else.”
When Hinojosa was involved with
Materials for the Arts in LIC, as an artist-in-
residence (fall 2015 to winter 2016),
he recalled using all the materials he was
able to collect there to put together a
new body of work, which he said “best
displayed all the possible alternatives
someone could use discarded, ready-made
He spent his time in the warehouse
“just head over heels in love with ev-erything
I saw and the people I met.
And the staff not only made me feel
welcomed, but they inspired a new body
of work I never would
have made,” he noted.
“The hard work that Harriet Taub has
done over the years is nothing more than
sheer brilliance, and the curatorial guidance
of John Cloud Kaiser and Omar Olivera, was
extremely important and influential, he added.
His recent exhibit at Local Project
Art Space in LIC — where creatives
can express themselves freely in a “safe
space” — was sponsored by Queens
Council on the Arts, who awarded the
artist a New Work Grant in 2019.
“A whole new body of work was made
just for Local Project and I couldn’t have
done it without my amazing people at
QCA,” he said. “For the grant, I proposed a
show titled ‘Juan Hinojosa: A Bad Hombre.’
It was a look at the art world through the
lens of someone who has been deemed
dangerous by this current administration.”
Materials used for that exhibit include:
multi-color wall decals, several broken man-nequin
hands, stickers and jewelry, broken
frames, window blinds, spray paint, as well
as yarn, chess pieces and a vintage photo.
Hinojosa’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer honored
him, along with three other awardees,
for their outstanding achievements and
contributions to the borough of Queens.
The special ceremony with community
brunch was held in LIC last June.
The busy artist, who said he takes
some inspiration from Henri
Matisse, Robert Rauschenburg, and
Sigma Polka, is currently working with
Ground Floor Gallery in Park Slope on
a series of new prints, which they’re
producing. And his solo exhibition is
now on view at Union College in Sche-nectady,
NY until fall. “It’s just a hop,
skip, and jump from Queens,” he quips,
noting, “The lovely curator allowed me to
create a site-specific installation along
with about 12 new collages. A true gift
to a kid from Queens!”
This summer, he’ll take part in a large
group show at Local Project, which he
said he’s really looking forward to.
“Needless to say, an artist’s life is
never dull… and constantly exhaust-ing,”
Find Juan at www.juanhinojosa.com
or at instagram.com/juan_hinojosa.