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.
Oquendo's most notable exhibitions are a 2016 solo show at Solo(s) Project House in Newark, NJ, as well as a 2017 solo show at the Henao Contemporary Center in Orlando, FL. Currently David is an Art educator through The Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University and Adjunct Professor at Bard Early College in Newark, NJ.
For a handful of years, David D. Oquendo has developed a personal constructed script. He calls this writing system, “Metaphrase”. This “Metaphrase” is a series that includes large-scale wall renderings (indoor and outdoor) and mixed media paintings. The artwork explores the artist’s ideas and questions of identity, language, meditation, religion and life.
The genesis of the series is personal. The artist was diagnosed with a learning disability as a child; causing difficulty in speech, comprehension, translation and writing. The non sequitur has become increasingly fascinating for the artist in regards to idiomatic phrases, music and identity through language.
Each letter is a system that has been influenced by Textualis Quadrata with hints of Arabic and Hebrew calligraphy. Completion finds the balance between obfuscate text and the beauty of calligraphy. With this series, Oquendo challenges the notion of what language must be, how language must be used and how language must look like.