back to previous

Abstracting Identity: Artwork by Miguel Angel Godoy

  • 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, AZ 85225


+ -

As a Chicano kid growing up in a military family, Miguel Angel Godoy struggled to find a community as he moved from base to base. That changed when he was introduced to Hip-Hop culture and the breaking (breakdancing) cypher, where he found a community to connect to.  Over time, Godoy’s interests evolved from breaking and graffiti to mural art. These shifts in interests led him to pursue an MFA in Painting and Drawing at ASU. As he navigated his MFA program and identity formation as a graduate student, his canvases morphed from square to round, emulating the circular breaking cypher where he felt most at home. At the same time, his children were learning how to read, sounding out words letter by letter, but the once-familiar alphabet began to take on new meaning to Godoy. This meaning-making process created a critical awareness of the negative space between letterforms and their representation.  Godoy began abstracting and overlaying these shapes as a way of offering a new lens into the meaning behind words. His journey through identity formation led him to understand that the abstractions between words, letters, and finding our communities, within each cypher all carry meaning and contribute to our own sense of belonging. In Abstracting Identity, Godoy creates his own visual language to communicate the complexities of being human and finding a space where we belong.