Wayne Lawrence/The New York Times

The artist Guadalupe Maravilla on one of his healing sculptures, “Disease Thrower #0,” at his studio in Brooklyn, March 7th, 2022. Maravilla will visit Cornell for the ongoing series called Migrations Global Grand Challenge.

April 20, 2022

Artist Guadalupe Maravilla to Kick Off Migrations Global Grand Challenge

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Acclaimed artist Guadalupe Maravilla is scheduled to present a talk in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, on Wednesday, April 27 as a part of the University’s “Migrations Global Grand Challenge,” a program supporting research and literature on topics of racism, migration and dispossession.

The series is part of Global Cornell, with support from the Mellon Foundation’s Just Futures Initiative. Maravilla will discuss his art, and how migration has informed his creative pursuits.

Maravilla, born Irvin Morazan, fled to the United States from the Salvadoran Civil War as an unaccompanied and undocumented minor in 1984, and later endured a separation from his mother who was deported to El Salvador for two years. Maravilla, who obtained citizenship in 2006, explores themes of migration and loss through his work, informed by the lives of both him and his family. 

Maravilla is currently based in Brooklyn, where he showcases his work in various locations across New York City including the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ​​the Whitney Museum of American Art and Art21

Illness and healing have also been prominent themes in both Maravilla’s life and art. Maravilla’s diagnosis with stage three colon cancer at the age of 36, inspired him to retrace the path he once took to the United States from El Salvador as a child.  

One of Maravilla’s notable works is the Disease Throwers, a series of large sculptures which incorporate materials collected from sites across Central America and sonic instruments such as conch shells and gongs. 

The artist’s sound baths reflect the artist’s turn to traditional healing practices among difficult radiation therapy, and engagement with indigenous Maya culture. 

Through acoustic, visual and physical representations Maravilla’s art has explored themes of Healing, displacement and intergenerational trauma in settings including installations in the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA.

Members of the Cornell community will have the opportunity to hear Miravilla both online and in person at the Johnson Museum of Art on April 27. Those interested in viewing online can register here.

Masks and Social distancing are encouraged at the presentation.