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Monica Curiel   b. 1993

Monica Curiel is a first-generation Mexican American born in Texas to immigrant parents from Jalisco, México who work as laborers. As a child, she accompanied her parents to work sites, spending time with her father on construction sites, and helping her mother clean homes. These early experiences were instrumental in shaping her artistic practice, exposing her to the raw materials that form the foundation of her artistic palette, such as spackling paste, plaster, house paint, and grouting tools. By basing her creative practice around labor materials, each piece becomes a celebration of her heritage and a way to honor the sacrifices that her parents and countless immigrants have made. Her work is influenced both by her culture and by her interdisciplinary education in interior design, fashion design, and fine art. Placing her pieces in spaces where Mexican immigrants are often stereotypically confined to roles such as cleaning or gardening, their presence reflects the American dream.

Artist Statement

My work explores the intersection of materiality, heritage, and identity, utilizing construction materials as a conduit to my Mexican culture. Each piece is crafted with wood, spackling paste, plaster, and paint, echoing a laborious process learned while working with my father on construction sites. I aim to break stereotypes about what an individual with my background might create. The pieces I craft are entirely handmade as a way to honor the laborers of my family and those of immigrants. These works embody not only the cultural heritage from my parents but also the practical knowledge gained from their skilled work ethic. Through my practice, I pay homage using my own memories, such as wet clothes hanging to dry after bathing in the river, as seen in the draping of my paintings, constructing a narrative that resonates both personally and universally, celebrating my dual cultures as a Mexican-American woman and forging a connection to my heritage.




Bachelor of Fine Arts | University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas


Summer | Florence University of the Arts
Florence, Italy



Spring | Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Snowmass Village, Colorado



American Design Hot List
Sight Unseen

Group Exhibitions


El Muro | Wolf Gordon | HD Expo
Las Vegas, Nevada


NYCxDesign | Love House
New York, New York


This Is America | Alcova
Milan, Italy


BRDG Project
Denver, Colorado

Art In The Time Of Corona™
Artsy, Online

Solo Exhibitions


Herencia | Meno Studio
Denver, Colorado


BFA Show | Union Gallery
Lawrence, Kansas

Monica Curiel currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado, USA.