Joseph “JOEMAMA” Mora was born in Acambara, Gto., Mexico and raised in Chicago, Ill. He is a multi-media artist who works in painting, performance, sculpture and installation. His work revolves around identity, immigration and issues within the Mexican, Mexican-American and Latino communities.
Having experienced most of his life in the United States as an undocumented immigrant, Joe finds it important to bring light to the struggles immigrants and minorities experience in the country. The duality of cultures he has been immersed in – what he also calls his “identity crisis” – is what drives his work.
Through my practice, Joe is also a teaching artist. Beginning his experience as a teacher’s assistant at Yollocalli Arts Reach, the youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art, Joe learned how to make a paper airplane from a student that lead to a paper airplane motif for which he is now known. It also inspired him to become a teacher.
After three years of assisting, Joe has lead his own classes with other artists through ElevArte Community Studio and Enlace Chicago. He has taught classes about drawing/painting, street art and mural painting.
Joe graduated from Harold Washington Chicago Community College with an associates degree, then transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an undergraduate where is he working on his BFA with a concentration in art education.