Loss of a Child – A Tribute as Art
Loss of a Child – A Tribute as Art
Watch the story of artist Jeff Maldonado also known as Artist J-Def, aspiring in the music industry. The bullets of a gang member put an end to that dream—his artist father's loss of a child.

Loss of a Child – A Tribute as Art

How does one honor the loss of a child?

When the unexpected child loss of Jeff Abbey Maldonado Jr. occurred the disbelief was paramount. As a result, there was a huge void in Jeff’s life that didn’t seem like it could be filled. His son was the focal point of his life.


Jeff, a 19-year-old multi-talented hip hop artist was just leaving a barbershop when the van he was riding in came under fire by a gang member. Jeff also known as the artist J-Def, was killed on 7/25/2009 just before his first public performance. Someone who had so much potential, only to be needlessly stopped before they could show the world. As a result, only the locals got to know his talent.

“I’d give anything not to do this… This is a symbol of somebody who has passed on,” JeffMaldonado said. “The hardest piece I ever had to make was this installation, because I was really never supposed to make this.”

The tribute

Jeff Maldonado’s father was a professional artist and wanted to honor the loss of a child. With the help of the National Museum of Mexico he installed a room to honor his son, the J-DEFF Peace Project. After that, he used his artistic talent to share his memories of his son with many of the locals, who loved the boy’s music.

After losing his son, Jeff Maldonado created a memorial for his son. Everyone had to enter and exit the room through the same door. That door symbolized this world and the next world beyond. Above all, it represented the Mexican belief that on November 1st at midnight the deceased children and adults reunite with their relatives and families. The Mexican faith and beliefs are strong in this family. It played a big part in the memorial.

“Day of the Dead is usually a natural progression of the life and death cycle,” Jeff Maldonado remarked. “It’s sort of the honor given to that person after the end of a full life. I wish that my son was able to live a full life, but I could never imagine having to do this.”

“This is an artistic way of dealing with the process of healing and loss, but we’re also trying to work within our own community to change things for the better, which is what he was trying to do.”     

Jeff Maldonado created a music message focus on using 80 gold albums. Along with many words and phrases in his son’s songs. So, he felt that sound vibration effects us. The vibration has a positive effect. As a result, he felt that his son J-Def’s music would help the world and community. Change it for the better.