Adál (Adal Maldonado) was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico, in 1948. Moving to
New York City at the age of seventeen, he is part of the Nuyorican cultural
movement that has sought to give expression to the Puerto Rican iden-
tity in New York that manifests itself through music, literature, and art.
He trained as a photographer and master printer at the San Francisco Art
Institute in the 1970s. In 1975, he founded, along with Alex Coleman, the
Foto Gallery, in Soho, New York City. This gallery is devoted to photog-
raphy and photo- derived works as a fine- arts medium. Adál has explored
identity issues, due to his complex experience of double identity. He is
the creator, along with the poet- playwright Reverendo Pedro Pietri, of El
Puerto Rican Embassy, a concept already established by Ambassador Ed-
uardo Figueroa, who founded an imaginary world called El Spirit Repub-
lic of Puerto Rico, in 1979. Adál and Pietri developed the concept further
in the mid- 1990s, creating Puerto Rican “passports,” writing a manifesto
and a National Anthem in Spanglish, and appointing ambassadors for
the arts. Adál is known for his photographic portraits and self- portraits,
which offer an ironic, often sarcastic view. In 1995, he created a series
The arTisTs
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