Bio & Statement
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico – and raised in New Jersey. In 2009, David D. Oquendo completed his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University (Newark Campus), earning a BFA in Painting and a Minor in Art History. While attending Rutgers, Oquendo earned the Creative Achievement in Fine Arts Award – for outstanding accomplishment in fine arts reflecting creativity and dedication.
In 2012, he earned an MFA in Painting from Montclair State University. Oquendo has shown his work in New Jersey, New York, Florida, United Kingdom; as well as created murals throughout New Jersey and New York.
Currently he is an Art educator through The Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University and an Art Teacher at Great Oaks Charter School in Newark, NJ.
“Metaphrase” is a series that includes large scale wall renderings (indoor and outdoor) and mixed media paintings. The work explores the artist’s current course, a personal constructed script, calligraphy; the “Metaphrase”.
The genesis of the series is personal. The artist was diagnosed with a learning disability as a young child, causing difficulty in speech, comprehension, translation and writing. The non sequitur has become increasingly fascinating for the artist in regards to language, writing, idiomatic phrases and identity through language.
Each letter is a system that has been influenced by Gothic Blackletter and ciphers with hints of Arabic and Hebrew calligraphy. Oquendo’s script communicates idioms translated into English, poetry, and personal messages which are rarely immediately decipherable. Completion finds the balance between obfuscate text and the beauty of calligraphy.