Toria Maldonado


I’m a multidisciplinary visual artist from and currently based in Long Beach, California on Tongva land. My pronouns are they/them. I make figurative portraits and digital illustrations that address contemporary issues and reference the intersection of my Mexican-Japanese American lineage and my non-binary trans identity. My work often depicts vulnerable and intimate settings that underly my need for connection with others; coping with grief, trauma, and loss are consistent bases in my practice. I employ different methods like collage, painting, printmaking, and photography to conceptualize ideas into physical and emotional explorations. The motivation behind my art-making is typically initiated by issues I fixate on to either engage, challenge, or to better understand. In my practice, I’ve learned to use many creative tools to cope with both personal and communal struggles.

In 2019, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from California State University, of Long Beach. My work has been exhibited in El Comalito Collective’s Black & Brown Bodies With Plants II, Flatline gallery’s In The Now Figurative and at LMBA Downtown’s Juried Photography Exhibition. I have freelanced with organizations like Nalgona Positivity Pride, and its online boutique Seeds from the Flesh, and Latinx 4 Social Movement. Currently, I’m collaborating with the owners of Plantiitas and selling art and merchandise at their second business, Plantiitas Market. I will have work displaying at South Gate Museum for their Flowers For You – Flores para ti exhibition starting March 25, 2023, while creating new works for my upcoming solo show, “Tough to Be Tender” (date TBD).


, ,

Contact Information

Toria Maldonado

Artist Links



Artist Work

Victoria & Dad (2019)
28" x 34" oil and collage on canvas; Using a direct reference from a photo of my late father and I, I incorporated collage throughout the painting sourcing various old family photos. By patterning these photos, I create not only a commemoration of my father, but a family quilt that showcases snapshots meant to revisit childhood memories. This painting serves as a place for vulnerability, nostalgia, and releasing grief from the death of a parent.

Tough AND Tender (2019)
40" x 30" oil on canvas; 40” x 30”2019, oil on canvas In "Tough AND Tender," my figure gazes directly at the viewer while standing in front of hanging passion flowers against abstractions of yellows and violets. Commonly thought to assert dominance, my stance creates an unmistakable tension between the flowers flowing around my body. Leaving my figure partially nude represents the struggle to be vulnerable, while coping with the dysphoria I have with my breasts. Passion flowers are double-sexed plants and typically yellow, white, and violet in appearance, colors associated with the non-binary flag in the LGBTQ+ community; I included them to symbolize this connection. My self-portrait exposes the internal struggle to be tender, but facing the outside world with a tough exterior. I place my figure among these flowers as metaphor to reject gender binaries and allow the natural occurrence of femininity and masculinity -- embracing how I am both tough AND tender.

Even On My Good Days (2022)
36" x 28," oil and collage on canvas; “Even On My Good Days” is a self portrait depicting my figure checking themselves out in their bathroom mirror. Collaged under the painting are clippings of news articles arranged throughout the piece referencing current transphobic legislation, bans, and laws in the United States. My portrait juxtaposes the internal and external struggles of being unapologetically trans — despite how I feel about myself, the powers that be fail to see the humanity and dignity of trans people (even less so if you are Black, Indigenous, femme, fat, and disabled). A written piece, an accompaniment to the portrait, describes the reality of how trans joy is often overshadowed by physical and emotional violence from both complete strangers and loved ones. "Even On My Good Days" questions if their existence is merely a mirror to find shame in. This forces the viewer to find empathy in one's humanity as well as their sexuality.

Saint Marsha (2018)
30" x 22" silkscreen print on stonehenge paper; Trans activist Marsha P. Johnson is re-imagined as a Saint -- referenced primarily from Saint Michael the Archangel. Accompanying Johnson is all the names of the trans women killed within the last year.

Seeking The Care You Need (2020)
Digital drawing; Created over the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this work is one of 12 self-portraits from my series “Self Love is…” that describes my personal journey of self-love and all the nuances it entails. From enacting boundaries, to creating space for introspection, to seeking care for mental health, each portrait explores and redefines the ways in which we can learn to honor the self.

No Means No (2021)
Digital drawing;No Means No is in response to men’s entitlement and objectification over women and femme bodies. Alice Bag, one of the first musicians from East LA’s Chicana punk scene, is shown in this digital portrait screaming this message as a reminder about consent and bodily autonomy. The screenprint-like quality and mis-registration invokes the emotional response of the all too familiar frustration and anger caused by sexual assault and violence