Maria RJ (b. 1992 Holguin, Cuba; lives and works in New York) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is about her relationship with spirituality. She tells stories of this relationship through materials, and their power in manifesting embodiment. RJ uses abstraction in her work as a means to connect the physical with the unbound—the unseen, but felt in the history of the body. She is interested in ashé (vital natural energy) and the many forms of potential that art can have. Her research questions how art objects can become transformed into living beings imbued with meaning and how a viewer can become implicated in this existence. RJ process the oral histories and lived experiences of her culture through forms of visual codification using the language of painting and abstraction. The works are composed of painted objects made of tense and loose fibers— silk, paper, palm, paint—and other visceral materials allowing it to connect— wax, metal, glass, resin. All of the materials used in these pieces are found and/or donated by others, thus adding to the ashé, or lived-in energy of the works. RJ is interested in the phenomenology of color and symbols as they relate to how our bodies process forms of spirituality. She questions the physicality of the wall and the ways in which bodies interact with architectural spaces. The works hang, sag, become suspended, fall onto the floor, tear, bisect planes, and at times, become performing objects on their own. This then informs her performance practice, which delves further into the material histories of objects, the oral histories of movements, and the effect of ancestry and nature on the body. These projects are symbiotic spatial experiences, consisting of textiles, found objects, drawn forms, videos, and colors. Maria RJ creates a visceral experience within the viewer so that even if they don't fully understand the cultural references of the work, they can feel these stories through materiality, form and color in a bodily way, in an ancestral way. 
María de los Angeles Rodríguez Jiménez received her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2015 and MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2020. Rodríguez Jiménez has participated in residencies such as the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture (2016), SOMA Summer (2019) and Pivô Arte e Pesquisa (2023). Her work has been exhibited in institutions such as the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), the Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL), and The Alabama Contemporary Art Center (Mobile, AL), among others. She was a recipient of The Fulbright Research Fellowship (2021) and the NYPL Jerome Robbins Dance Fellowship (2022), where she collaborated with Candomblé dancers and practitioners in Brazil. She currently lives and works in Queens, New York.