Ali Medina

Ali Medina, born in 1990, is a New York City based drawer and printmaker.

She received her B.A. from Bard College in 2012.


Art allows me to articulate the indescribable sensations of my illness. My art-making process is both meditative and therapeutic. I suffer from a rare stomach condition that damages the lining of my digestive tract. Conceptually, my prints are modeled after maps, diagramming my digestive system during the various stages of discomfort. Each print is an attempt to visualize the physical and psychological pain caused by my ailment.

Often, to come to terms with the severity of my disorder I have turned to meditation. My studio process has become a means of channeling my anxieties, thus meditative scenes often serve as inspiration for new works; the compositions of my prints are often taken from studies of landscapes and other natural systems. My works attempt to capture the beauty and serenity of landscape, while expressing the contrasting disturbance caused by illness.

My work employs various rubbing and stippling techniques to create mixed media pieces. In my monoprints I use elements found in nature, including a range of foliage and vegetation, alongside man-made everyday objects that mimic the organic structures of natural objects. In my photogravures, I have experimented with ink spills and various mark making on Mylar. These Mylar templates serve as the blueprints for my photographic works. The element of chance plays an important role in my process, therefore the versatility and spontaneity of monoprinting has allowed for the greatest evolution in my prints.

In my most recent series, I manipulate found materials to create a more sculptural effect. I develop the matrix with “ghost prints” to create vast layers of information in the print. I carefully construct the composition by fragmenting, intertwining, and sculpting the materials before the plate is run through the printing press. The press functions as a process of documentation, capturing both the physicality of the plate at a specific moment and the underlying layers within the matrix, ultimately creating a seamless impression of the collage.

I utilize a variety of materials in my monoprints including leaves, string, and plastic bags to generate a range of biological textures. In these body landscapes, I use everyday materials to deconstruct the complex nature of organic forms. These abstract forms appear at once familiar and elusive, inducing in the viewer an unsettling sense of dissonance. This juxtaposition thus mimics and reproduces the ambiguous and ephemeral feelings of my condition. My most recent work specifically focuses on channeling sensations of nausea. In engaging with my work, the viewer is invited to transcend initial aesthetic perceptions and begin to experience the physical and psychological effects of these sensations. Art becomes a cathartic tool through which I can communicate with my audience. Together, we can attempt to understand the internal complexities of disease, both at the individual and the communal level.