Juan de Dios Mora was born in Yahualica, Mexico. In 1998, his family immigrated to the United States. Mora attended middle school and high school in Laredo, TX. In 2007, Mora moved to San Antonio to continue his studies.
In 2009, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting and a Master of Fine Arts specializing in Printmaking in 2011. He acquired both degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). To this day, he is working in the art department at UTSA as an Assistant Professor of art.
Mora concentrates in the printmaking technique of relief to create narratives of Mexican-American experiences. His experiences living along the border (US and Mexico) provide an awaking of social and political concepts that heavily influence his artistic, aesthetic and conceptual ideas.
His artworks’ concepts tell a story of individuals in a surreal and comical exaggeration of the survival
instincts. The artwork reveals ingenuity and resourcefulness by improvising and using the available
materials, tools, and objects into workable, fashionable, and stylized features.
Mora has been included in exhibitions across United States, Mexico, and Japan. Venues featuring his work are National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin TX;El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX; Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; Kyoto Municipal Museum, Japan; and the Latino Cultural Center, Dallas, TX.
Institutions that have acquired his work include, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, OR; McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX; University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL; The Smithsonian America Art Museum, Washington, DC.
“Mora’s art has three important themes that blend synergistically. First, there is the way he conceptualizes. His thoughts form the basis of dramatic expression, but with the medium and focused projection ever present. Second, he lends a painted voice to works that venture the popular images of “los de abajo,” (Mariano Azuela’s version of the underdogs). Rasquache is a Mexican origin populist term that describes the poor and lower classes, and can be interchanged with “la palomia,” another term for the underclass. It is to this audience that the greatMexican comic, Cantinflas, focused. The third part of the three cornered that Mora wears are his messages to a larger audience, one that goes beyond the barrios and colonias. His art, focus, methodology, ideology and presentations have significant appeal and intrinsic value to the most sophisticated viewers and art critics in the world.
Mora’s art is complex because of the intricate detail, symbolism and innuendo exquisitely intertwined. This complexity in Mora’s art work requires extensive attention to detail, and the joining of different images and symbols to express his subjects. There is, of course, a striking communication in his work that in a composite form provides a portrait, theme or a personalized moment in time.
Therefore, viewers, no matter their education, culture, or class standing, will gravitate to his works and find in them detailed and expressive insights and messages. And, it causes the viewer to linger and to explore admirable qualities for a highly sophisticated and gifted artist.
Dr. Ricardo Romo: Thank you for your finely tuned and evocative commentary about the extraordinary talents of Juan de Dios Mora. He is a magnificent artist and deserves every accolade possible for his creativity.”
Read more about the artist on page 10.