Maia Cruz Palileo

Palileo (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist whose paintings, installations, sculptures, and drawings navigate themes of migration and the permeable concept of home. Influenced by the oral history of their family’s arrival in the United States from the Philippines, as well as the history between the two countries, Palileo infuses these narratives using both memory and imagination. They produce paintings of dream-like qualitiy that hover between fact and fiction. Investigating the malleable language of the medium, Palileo’s works offer a panoramic lens through which to investigate the larger questions pertaining to forgotten histories and how best to honor these stories in perpetuity. Sourcing subject matter through various photographic archives, their paintings recontextualize the stories, portraits, and images in an attempt to resuscitate these figures from the exploitative gaze of the ethnographic image. 


Maia Cruz Palileo (b. 1979, Chicago, IL) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Palileo (they/them) is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2008), Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Program Grant (2017), and Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2014) along with the NYFA Painting Fellowship (2021), Astraea Visual Arts Fund Award (2009), and Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award (2008). The artist received an MFA in sculpture from Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY (2008) and BA in Studio Art at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA (2001). Palileo has participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, Maine; Lower East Side Print Shop, New York; Millay Colony, Austerlitz, New York; and the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans. Palileo has had solo exhibitions at the Kimball Arts Center, Park City, UT (2022), the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA (2021); the Katzen Arts Center, Washington D.C. (2019); moniquemeloche, Chicago, IL (2019); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY (2018); Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York , NY (2017); and Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, curated by Jordan Buschur, New York, NY (2015). Their work is in the collections of The San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; The Speed Museum, Lousiville, KY; and The Fredriksen Collection at the National Museum of Oslo, Norway.