Diario del arte : Feb 2013

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR


photos captions -- looking for art ...


Our first trip to the island was in the late 1980s. As artists visiting from New York, Lillian and I wanted to see some art. We arranged to leave our one-year-old daughter with her grandparents in Santa Olaya, and drive El Barco, a 1978 Ford LTD,  on an excursion into the city. The internet was in its early stages with only crude tools like Gopher, Compuserve, and Archie. There was no Google which you could ask “show me all the art galleries in San Juan PR” and two seconds later get a comprehensive answer.

Somehow, we ended up at el Arsenal in Old San Juan which happened to be exhibiting a survey of posters and graphic art. Neither the exhibition nor the artworks are memorable from that visit. It was, as a friend likes to say, “nothing to write home about,” but el Arsenal as a venue for art made a lasting impression. Over the next twenty years we always stopped at el Arsenal, although we sometimes found it closed or between exhibitions. Our efforts at seeing art were also hindered by our daughter's increasing lack of enthusiasm. “Do we have to look at art? Let's go to the beach!” 

Times changed. Google knows everything. Google Translate is now accurate and sophisticated and when our daughter visits from New Orleans, her first questions is, “What's happening in the island's art scene?” Could it get any better? We find that there is more to see than we can find time to write about. The most robust source for information about island art and artists is Facebook. Every artist, gallery and museum has a page, so it has become our daily source of information about exhibitions and events. We run our weekly what-to-do calendar from there. The Events Listing has recently taken us to the following:


LA MUSICA DEL SFJAZZ COLLECTIVE 
performed by estudiantes del Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico

Google Translate is good, but sometimes I do not read carefully or understand fully. I expected to see the SFJAZZ Collective in person and assumed the event was organized by Miguel Zenon. First the students played Zenon's arrangement of Stevie Wonder's Superstition. Then, they played Zenon's Lingala, a complex work featuring marimba and xylophone. Halfway through their performance of Dave Douglas's SFJAZZ Suite, I realized that the Collective was not backstage waiting to make an appearance. The eight member group, led by Christina Diaz on piano had mastered an ambitious and difficult set of challenging contemporary jazz arrangements. Carlos Quiros on bass and Isai Rodriguez on trumpet were outstanding, and I was no longer disappointed to not be seeing David Sanchez on saxophone tenor nor Stefon Harris on vibraphone.


PUERTO RICO: PUERTA AL PAISAJE – Parte 1: feroz/feraz
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte de l Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras

This exhibition, Part 1, is an introduction to a more complete survey of landscape painting in Puerto Rico organized by Dr. Lilliana Ramos Collado, curator at El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo. Both exhibitions explore the Puerto Rican landscape with emphasis on issues such as territory and territoriality from the time of Francisco Oller up to the present day, and feature a group of contemporary artists including Rafael Trelles, María de Mater O’Neill, Arnaldo Roche Rabell y el colectivo J² (Jaime y Javier Suárez). Seeing this introduction makes us impatient to see Part 2 next month at el MAC.


GALERIA FRANCISCO OLLER
Three art installations
UPR, Recinto de Río Piedras

Three works by three artists who are professors of art fill the intimate gallery. Ivelisse Jiménez, installed a large hanging sculpture made from sheets of transparent plastic casting colored shadows on the wall. Migdalia Luz Barens created a geometric design on the floor of the gallery using thick lines of powdered carbon. Along the periphery of each line is a story or poem, but it was difficult to read exactly what had been written. The best work was made by Carola Cintrón Moscoso, who teaches computer art and sound at Escuel de Artes Plasticas. She made a large abstract painting using only black paint. Attached to the painting is an electronic wand, wired to a small speaker. Passing the wand across the painting creates a series of squeaks and squawks depending on the density of the black shapes in the painting. We wish we had a portable version to bring to every exhibition to make the art “speak” to us.


WHITE TRASH
Aaron Salabarrias
Galería Nacional, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Viejo San Juan. 

Who could resist an exhibit called White Trash - a slang term in the U.S. which Wikipedia describes as “white people who live in trailer parks and spend their meager income buying big screen TV's instead of clothing for their children. These people tend to fight frequently and were regularly featured on the Jerry Springer television show.” Unfortunately we didn't encounter any evidence of those people, but instead observed a collection of white kitsch-derived objects transformed in a manner owing a large debt to artists Richard Prince and Jeff Koons.


INSENCIVILIZACIONES
artworks by Herberto "BICIO" Morales Montes
Galeria Candela, Viejo San Juan

The first in a planned series of exhibitions organized by the youthful editors of Pernicious Press. Each exhibition will present the work of one artist and include an artist's book specially published for the occasion. BICIO's book includes el Manifiesto del CoCa, and item #4 says: "The performance by any asshole makes an artist. Doing radical things for the sake of attention is not a creative act. Same for conceptual art."


NO VAMOS A LLEGAR, PERO VAMOS A IR
installation by Victor Vasquez
Antiguo Arsenal en Viejo San Juan

The wall text for this exhibition describes it as an imaginary dialogue based on photographic work carried out in an historic ruin in Old San Juan over a span of two years.  It was difficult to decipher the effects of two years of study, but our favorite work is the most subtle - shadows cast on the wall at one end of the gallery by a series of ropes, hung with many colored plastic clothes pins.


METEORO
installation by Frances Gallardo
Sala Central de Antiguo Arsenal en Viejo San Juan

The text by curator Elvis Fuentes speaks of metaphor and of Gallardo being in the eye of a hurricane. She presents delicate cut paper works depicting hurricanes: Zenon, Carmela, Luis Carmen, Juni, Hermes and Eugenio among others. One gallery wall is filled by three enormous cityscapes of New York, San Juan and Havana made of cut black paper. Our favorite work consists of three photographs: documentation of her dotted-line intervention on a small building near the harbor of Cantano, and bocetos for two similar interventions on the facades of Banco Popular's office building and the Galeria Nacional, both in Viejo San Juan.


ARTIFICIAL TRUTH
open studio by Jaime Rodríguez Crespo
Recinto Cerra, 619.5 calle Cerra, Santurce

Recinto Cerra has two studios for artists Jaime Rodríguez Crespo y Jesús “Bubu” Negrón and a small gallery for presentations. For this project Crespo sculpted a Garza Blanca and then photographed the bird in a series of urban settings including: the entrance to el Museo De Vida Silvestre; on the grounds of the San Juan Golf Academy and Driving Range overlooking the port of San Juan; and the San Juan City Garbage Disposal Company facilities where he photographed his life-like, life-sized bird among hundreds of real cohorts.


Finally two new art galleries open this month. Both will present important exhibitions of contemporary art by puertorriqueño and international artists. Both are dedicated to connoisseurship and to developing and promoting the island's thriving art scene. 


WALTER OTERO CONTEMPORARY ART
402 Ave. Constitución, Puerto Tierra

Opens to the public with an exhibition of new paintings by Angel Otero. This gallery is the vanguard of what may become a new center of art in the San Juan neighborhood of Puerto Tierra. Otero, quoted in the February 2013 issue of the international art magazine Modern Painters says, “This might be the first gallery with an international program doing six or seven exhibitions per year and a department for prints and publishing. The space is important, because it is symbolic for me and maybe for Puerto Rico.” Artists represented by the gallery include Rafael Vega, Michael Linares and Arnaldo Roche Rabell. 


GALERIA AGUSTINA FERREYRA
750 Ave. Fernandez Juncos, Santurce

Presenting the inaugural exhibition Dreaming is a form of Planning featuring work by: Livia Corona, Mexico; Michele Abeles, Matt Sheridan Smith and Marcius Galan, U.S.; Pratchaya Phinthong, Thailand; Irma Alvarez Laviada, Spain; and Julio Suarez, Puerto Rico. The guide for this exhibition says “This work defies conventionalism and explores new possibilities within the 'cracks' exiting between painting, sculpture, drawing and photography.”


Facebook or webpages for venues discussed:


Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico 

http://facebook.com/CMPROficial


Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte  

http://facebook.com/museouprrp


Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico

http://www.museocontemporaneopr.org


Galeria Francisco Oller de UPR, Rio Piedras

http://facebook.com/GaleriaFranciscoOller


Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña 

http://www.icp.gobierno.pr


Pernicious Press 

http://facebook.com/pernicious.press.magazine


Recinto Cerra 

http://facebook.com/recinto.cerra


Walter Otero Contemporary Art

http://facebook.com/WalterOteroContemporaryArt


Galeria Agustina Ferreyra

http://www.augustinaferreyra.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES



LET'S DO THE TIME-WARP, AGAIN

ARTISTAS EN PERFIL: LA CERRA
by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR 


Some of the crowd at La Productora for the opening of the exhibition "o te peinas o te haces rolos"

 

Jangeando (hanging around) a large crowd gathered on Calle Cerra, Lillian and I are outside of #619, home to La Productora the newest addition to an energetic and expanding art scene here on the island. An even larger group is crowded into the gallery, filled with music and artworks by artists who have helped to ensure that Santurce continues to rule. We have been reflecting on the changes we have seen since moving to the island over two years ago. We have seen this community become a center for art activity and this street become the center of the neighborhood. Because of the noise of the crowd and blare of the music coming from the gallery, Lillian has to lean in close to make herself heard.  

"This reminds me a lot of the art scene in the 1980's on the Lower East Side in New York City," she says. "Same kind of high energy and excitement, a feeling of a home-grown, do it yourself aesthetic; thumbing one's nose at the art establishment; art on the streets and in the galleries created and run by artists, for artists; artworks based on things happening at the moment and politically charged in response to issues of the day."

I know what she means. We were there and saw it as it happened. At the moment we are both reading about that New York artworld of the 1980s. Lillian is reading Alan Moore's new book ART GANGS, which recalls the protest and counterculture of the downtown art community, and I am reading Cynthia Carr's new biography FIRE IN THE BELLY, about the life and times of David Wojnarowicz, one of the artists who helped make the Lower East Side a vibrant and politically aware art scene. One thing that distinguished Loisaida, as it is still known to Nuyoricans, and sometimes called Alphabet City, is that it is an Hispanic neighborhood. During the 1980s there was a large influx of artists who came primarily for cheap rents and readily available work-spaces. They quickly established themselves, opening art galleries, cooperatives, and alternative art spaces which presented art exhibits, music, poetry and experimental theater. Most importantly these artists and their venues were supportive of the people and culture surrounding them. The artwork was quite distinctive, made from objects and images discovered on the Lower East Side, often reflecting icons and folk art of the Boricua community. In addition many important Puerto Rican and Nuyorican artists were welcomed and became instrumental in establishing that art scene. Some of them founded the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center in a former public school building. There they presented theater, dance, music and art and rented out fifty studio spaces to community artists. It remains an important and vital cultural center today.

Our reverie is interrupted when Lillian spots Carla Acevedo-Yates, a young art writer and independent curator. We met Carla when she presented her project The Dialectic City at Laboratorio de Artes Binarios in 2011. At the moment she is completing graduate studies in the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in upstate New York. Lillian motions to Carla and she leans in to join our conversation. I ask if she can translate the title of this exhibition "o te peinas o te haces rolos" into English for me. "Literally, it means 'either comb your hair or put it up in rollers,'" she tells me. "But figuratively, it means make up your mind and do something." "Sort of like our saying, 'shit or get off the pot,'" I suggest. "Sort of," says Lillian, "but more like 'he who hesitates is lost.'" "O 'no es lo mismo decirlo que hacerlo,'" says Carla. "How about, 'if you're going to eat three frogs, eat the biggest one first,'" I suggest. They look puzzled. "I had a fortune cookie yesterday which said, '"There is no time like the pleasant.'" I tell them. They both stare, choosing to ignore me. Suddenly I am out manned and out gunned. It might be time for me to either start fishing, or get rid of the bait.


Lillian Mulero in front of LA CERRA music store, #620 Calle Cerra, Santurce. 

Carla points out that the text in support of this exhibition says that La Productora started from the need to have an alternative space where artists can create and share their art. The name comes from the location, 619 Calle Cerra, where 30 years ago there was a center for distributing typical music of Puerto Rico. Now it has been reinvented as a space for the distribution of creative ideas in art and design. She says the text also suggests that the artists in this show have a shared aesthetic based on a dichotomy in their work and a duality in their techniques, where the viewer can perceive a child-like feeling but at the same time find a mature perception. It also says these artists share an appreciation for the work exhibited in the Bad Painting show of 1978, the first exhibition at the New Museum in New York City. Curator Marsha Tucker wrote that the artists in that exhibition “expressed a freedom to mix classical and popular art-historical sources, kitsch and traditional images, archetypal and personal fantasies, which constitutes a rejection of the concept of progress,” and served as a thumb in the eye to the patriarchal phallocentric art establishment of that era. The New Museum was the first major contemporary art institution founded by a woman, and now has a long history of supporting the work of women and minority artists concerned with social and political issues.

Lillian asks, "Doesn't the title of this exhibition "o te peinas o te haces rolos" refer specifically to women?" Carla says, "Yes, but it's referring to a sense of indecisiveness, a trait unfortunately attributed to women." "But there are no women artists in this show," declares Lillian. "True," says Carla, "although this is the first exhibition of the gallery." "Give them some time," I suggest. "The gallery is new, and they are just getting started."

For the moment at least, they do not contradict me.

Artists Juan Alberto Negroni, Rabindranat Diaz-Cardona, Martin Albarran, Omar Obdulio Pena, Jaime Crespo and friend in front of LA CERRA, an artwork by Jesús “Bubu” Negrón

 

"o te peinas o te haces rolos"

Artists: Rabindranat Díaz-Cardona, Hector Madera, José Lerma, Roberto Márquez, Jesús “Bubu”Negrón, Juan Alberto Negroni, Radames “Juni” Figueroa, Fernando Pintado, Omar ObdulioPeña y Jonathan Torres. With the collaboration of Roberto Paradise / Martin Albarran

 

La Productora
Calle Cerra #619, Santurce
(787) 647-7461

http://www.facebook.com/laproductorapr

 

Carla Acevedo-Yates

http://www.carlaacevedo.com/

 

 TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES



ARTISTA EN PERFIL : Steve Staso

Steve Staso's ULTRASECRETO book project.

by Jan Galligan
Santa Olaya, PR
November 20, 2012

Steve Staso calls himself an anti-artist and anti-filmmaker and says he is an anti-police. Born in Monroe, Michigan in the 1950's and raised in Detroit, he moved to New York City as a young man, where he always lived in one of the the Puerto Rican barrios. Staso was politicized at at early age, especially after reading The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord's seminal critique of contemporary society which argues that the life of contemporary society has been completely colonized and subsumed by consumerism. Debord writes, “Since art is dead, it has evidently become extremely easy to disguise police as artists... by the same process a cultural cover is guaranteed for every agent or auxiliary of the state’s networks of persuasion.”

Anne Delaney and Steve Staso installing his drawings at LA15 in Santurce, PR : photo by Rebecca Zilenziger.

For more than 30 years Staso has been creating films, drawings and paintings which explore and present the social political critique espoused by Debord. At the same time, Staso's exposure to the Puerto Rican diaspora had a strong effect on his art and politics, as he came to understand the plight of a people subjugated in their homeland and for many, forced to live and work “in the belly of the subjugating beast” in order to earn a respectable living for their families.

Read full article here:

Steve Staso and Anne Delaney outside their exhibition CAPITULACIONES at LA15 in Santurce, PR : photo by Rebecca Zilenziger.

CAPITULACIONES EXHIBIT BY DELANEY AND STASO


Article as published in En Rojo, cultural supplement to Claridad, the weekly national newspaper of Puerto Rico here:


 

 

"I always say, one's company, two's a crowd and three's a party”. ― Andy Warhol.

photo caption: Construction of the Walter Otero Gallery, San Juan, PR as if photographed by the controversial documentarian Edgar Martins. (photo illustration by J. Galligan [ed.])

 

“ANDY WARHOL WOULD HAVE LOVED TO BE AT THIS PARTY,” said Ultra Violet, Warhol superstar who attended the legendary party hosted by Walter Otero Contemporary Art at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach during Art Basel week.

Classic video clips from movies such as La Dolce Vita, Metropolis, Auntie Mame, Julieta of the Spirits, and Barbarella were collaged with footage of Puerto Rican cult icon Iris Chacon. Images from artists including Carlos Betancourt, Angel Otero, Allora & Calzadilla, Arnaldo Roche, Luis Vidal, Rafael Vega, Gamaliel Rodriguez, Michael Linares, Ramon Miranda, Monica Rodriguez, Axel Ruiz, Victor Vazquez, Hector Arce, Osvaldo Budet, Ignacio Lang, Andres Serrano and Fabian Marcacio danced in the video mix throughout the night.  Betancourt, whose musical selections accompanied the video, was seen dancing all night. Also on the dance floor was Walter Otero and Ultra Violet -- moving to the rhythms of Hector Lavoe.

Walter Otero, proprietor of the Walter Otero Contemporary Art gallery, announced that the opening of the gallery will take place "sometime early in January, 2013." The gallery is located on Avenida Ponce De Leon #402, in the Santurce art district of San Juan, PR.

 

More info on photographer Edgar Martins


Exes : Anne Delaney and Steve Staso @ LA15, Santurce, PR

El Centro Curatorial de Arte Contemporáneo LA15 presents New York city artists Anne Delaney and Steve Staso 

Capitulations can sometimes be seen as an agreement on economic issues in a marriage. This time it represents a creative covenant between two artists – a couple whose marriage has ended but who reunite to share in this presentation of their drawings.

Anne Delaney uses figuration to portray signs of excessive consumption – sometimes as an act of disobedience to the rational use of the family finances.

Steve Staso has created a series of drawings which depict elements (elementos puertorriqueñistas) that highlight the Puerto Rican nationality and that are emblematic of the island's ongoing struggle for independence.

The viewer is invited to explore the work of these two artists who work with divergent subjects. They are none the less joined here through the medium of drawing where their work reflects their past relationship – presented now from a different point of view.

Capitulaciones : installation photographs by Rebecca Zilenziger

ARBITRARY : ARBITRATION

ARBITRAGE
Robert Miller  Richard Gere
Ellen Miller         Susan Sarandon
Det. Bryer          Tim Roth
Julie (mistress)   Laetitia Casta

Roadside Attractions presents a film written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki 
Running time: 107 minutes. Rated R (for language, violent images and drug use)

 

Lillian sez: POWER IS THE BEST ALIBI

Having just phoned his lawyer, instructing him to contact the district attorney and arrange a meeting where he will face indictment and turn himself over to the police, Richard Gere, seen from above, is on his bed, hands behind his head, staring directly up at us, the camera, on the bedroom ceiling of his Gramercy Park mansion. Suddenly he bolts from the bed, grabs the phone and calls his lawyer again. "Have you contacted the D.A.?!" he shouts into the phone. "No? Great! Don't!" He's had a sudden inspiration.

Gere plays Robert Miller, CEO of a billion dollar hedge fund. He's on the verge of selling the company to a rival firm -- in part so he can pay back the $410 million a friend loaned him to cover a loss in a Russian copper mining deal gone bad that Gere/Miller has hidden by juggling the books. However, it's not the debt and hidden loss causing him to lose sleep nor is that the subject of his sudden inspiration.

While the sale of his company was inching towards conclusion, Gere/Miller caused a fatal accident on the northbound side of the Bronx River Parkway. Driving a vintage Mercedes sedan belonging to his mistress, new owner of a Soho art gallery which Gere/Miller has funded -- with her sleeping on his shoulder, he falls asleep at the wheel and the car crashes -- flipping and rolling spectacularly. Gere/Miller survives the crash. The mistress dies. No one is witness to the crash. It is late at night and the parkway is deserted. In a moment of panic-driven inspiration Gere/Miller, about to dial 911 on his cell phone, puts it back in his pocket and instead uses a nearby pay phone and makes a collect call to the Harlem home of Jimmie, the son of his former corporate chauffer. Speaking rapidly, Gere/Miller gives young Jimmie, explicit instructions about how and where to find him on the parkway. "Take I-95," he tells him. Jimmie follows those instructions to the letter.

Weeks later, Gere/Miller is under suspicion when investigators discover his collect phone call to Harlem in the records of the pay phone. Looking for the disappeared driver of the fatal crash, they have also discovered: Gere/Miller was the victim's lover and benefactor; Gere/Miller was the last person seen with her on the night of the crash; they know that Gere/Miller employed Jimmie's father; they know Jimmie accepted the collect phone call and talked for 1.5 minutes. They suspect he left home and drove somewhere, but have no proof. They suspect Gere/Miller is the missing driver and want to connect him to the phone call and to Jimmie.

In a moment of inspired desperation, the lead detective manufactures a piece of evidence. He doctors a photo from the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge tollbooth, making it show Jimmie's Jeep Grand Cherokee and rear license plate. This evidence is presented to a grand jury. Jimmie is about to be indicted as accessory after the fact. He's in trouble. Although Jimmie is a former felon, Gere/Miller has sworn him to secrecy and offered big money, two million dollars. Jimmie has his pride. He refused the money, but promised to keep his mouth shut. Now, facing serious jail time, Jimmie is incensed -- he never even went near the Triborough bridge. Gere/Miller told him not to.

This is what wakes Gere/Miller from his tormented reverie, as he seemed about to sacrifice his family, his company, his own future -- everything he had worked so hard to construct and acquire -- in order to repay Jimmie for his silence and loyalty -- taking the rap himself. Gere/Miller has suddenly realized that the photo evidence must be fake, and he can prove it. He gets his own lawyer and the high-powered lawyer he's hired to defend Jimmie into a meeting and they concoct a plan to get a Triborough bridge license plate photo of their own to match against the photo presented as evidence to the grand jury. When the two photos are placed side by side under a magnifying glass -- it's clear: the police photo is a Photoshop fake, and a crappy one at that. 

Whoever made the composite was a Photoshop amateur, unfamiliar with the Distort and Skew tools. The image of Jimmie's license plate, composited onto a picture of a different Jeep Grand Cherokee, is out of proportion and of lower resolution than the tollbooth original onto which it has been crudely pasted. Case closed. Grand jury dismissed. Jimmie is free. Any link between Gere/Miller is gone. 

Take another look at the evidence, please. There was no need for Gere/Miller's sleepless nights. Any competent photographer or digital retoucher would immediately recognize that the photograph provided by the police had been digitally altered. Moreso, take a look at a map. Leaving Harlem to drive north to the Bronx River Parkway takes you nowhere near the Triborough Bridge, just like Jimmie said. You would have to drive south to go north. Nobody in New York does that, especially not a street-smart young man from Harlem. Case closed. 

 

 

 

Jan Galligan 
75Grand/Sur 
Santa Olaya, PR

 

http://75Grand.posterous.com [foto blog] 
http://cinefestsanjuan.posterous.com [cine blog] 
http://about.me/JanGalligan [about me]

 

 

 

These eleven artists makes us uncomfortable...

My son Shanan, in Madison, WI sent us a provocative question this morning: "I need a list of links to some of your favorite practicing artists who are doing work that makes you uncomfortable and challenged."

 

photo caption: Lillian Mulero, barrio La Perla, Viejo San Juan, PR - graffiti images by ISMO.


Here are our responses:


1) Paul McCarthy - Salt Lake City UT, 1945
I asked Lillian about this and she said, sure, but Mike Kelly too. Sadly, Mike Kelly died a few months ago. Last year we had a chance to buy one of McCarthy's Santa Claus Butt Plugs, small size, cast chocolate: http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/29546/santas-little-helper  (Chocolate Santa (2007), McCarthy's warped take on entrepreneurship in the form of a fully functioning "Chocolate Santa with Butt Plug" factory, churning out $100 gift boxes at a rate of 1,000 a day in New York's Maccarone Gallery. "They calculated that I was going to sell 30,000." He ended up selling around 1,600. "I have about 12,000 in storage, packed in shredded Artforums.") but we didn't mostly because I wasn't sure how to keep it (in the freezer?) I'm sure you can grok the challenging/uncomfortable aspects of his very important work.

http://www.hauserwirth.com/

2) Allora & Calzadilla - Havana, 1971; Philadelphia, 1974
When we first thought about moving to Santa Olaya in 2009, we knew about this artist couple and knew they lived in Old San Juan and hoped to pay them a visit. After we arrived in 2010 they were out of town most of the time. Then we encountered their work at a few local exhibitions, and then the Venice Biennale happened. We were most attracted to them because of their Vieques works. For the most part we still like what they do, but at the moment, we're not quite sure what they're up to...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/

3) Richard Prince - Canal Zone, 1949
from Richard Prince's DIARY: 3/28/2012
"Just came back from Upstate. Went up there with Mark Grojohn, (sorry about the spelling Mark)... it was nice to hang out with another artist. I'm not sure when the last time I've done that. Just him and me. Talking about stuff. I have one of his paintings hanging up in the back of my "body shop"... We both agreed how much we like Chris Burden."

http://www.richardprince.com/birdtalk


4) Sean Dack - Albany, 1976
Our first, and only encounter with his work was at the UNCERTAIN STATES OF AMERICA exhibition at Bard College in 2005. We were most intrigued by his having been born in Albany and lived there while we were living on Grand St. He went to Albany High, Purchase (BfA, Art) and then Columbia U.

From google-search: BIG BREAK MTV CONTEST PUTS ALBANY NATIVE IN THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR FOR A KORN VIDEO SHOOT.(LIFE & LEISURE) Albany Times Union November 1, 2002, MARK MCGUIRE Staff writer -- At 25, Sean Dack is already a capital-A artist. Artiste, even: The guy's already had a multimedia installation piece -- depicting grunge icon Kurt Cobain -- displayed in a Paris gallery. The Albany native is also a musician, a photographer and a DJ. Now we can add contest winner. And music-video director. In September, Dack won MTV's 'Direct a Video' contest. Two days after learning of his win, he flew to Los Angeles to direct 'Alone I Break,' the latest video by nu-metal gods Korn. To be honest, the 1995 Albany High School graduate didn't even own a Korn album. "A lot of what I listen to never makes it to MTV," said Dack, who prefers electronic music, Sigur Ros, The Rapture, Black Dice and "weirder stuff." He doesn't even watch MTV: "I don't have cable." Dack, lives in Brooklyn.

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk
http://www.artnet.com


5) Paul Sietsema - LA,CA 1968
I, of course had hoped that Paul was Robert's cousin when we first discovered his work. Had a chance to see a 16mm film installation at Bard College as part of UNCERTAIN STATES OF AMERICA. Sietsema quoted in the catalog: "I suppose what I am getting at is that it is not so much the original meaning of the information and images I use that interest me, but rather the vestiges of what remains of them over time..."

http://arttattler.com

INSTALLATION VIEW: Paul Sietsema "EMPIRE" 2002
http://images.artnet.com/

6) Josh Smith - Okinawa, 1976
First learned of his work in 2005 at UNCERTAIN STATES OF AMERICA (this was an important exhibition for us and we're still refering to the catalog at the moment) We saw his work most recently here at the Espacio 1414 Project space in an exhibition called PAINTING EXPANDED, probably the most important exhibition we've seen on the island since we've been here.

http://espacio1414.org
http://www.smithjosh.com/
http://www.luhringaugustine.com

7) Continuous Project - New York and Paris [Bettina Funcke, Wade Guyton, Joseph Logan, and Seth Price] Seth Price's work has always been disturbing for me, and intriguing at the same time. It's deep, dense, certainly challenging, and requires considerable work to understand and experience in full. The reproduction of Avalance magazines was a particularly interesting Continuous Project.

http://www.distributedhistory.com

8) Jose Lerma - Seville, Spain, 1973
Jose has ties to Puerto Rico. We learned about his work and met him when he showed at Roberto Paradise gallery. Fascinated and impressed with his successes. Some of the time, he lives and works in Elaine DeKooning's former studio in the Hamptons. We found him easy-going, personable and very approachable. Our jury is still deliberating on the meaning in his paintings.

Roberto Paradise gallery, San Juan, PR
https://www.facebook.com
video interview / Huffington Post

9) Alicia Hall Moran - Redwood City, CA, 1973 and Jason Moran - Houston, TX, 1975
We saw Jason Moran play piano soundtrack for Joan Jonas's live video performance at Dia:Beacon. Also saw him perform with Don Byron at the Egg in Albany. Have never heard his wife sing. His music is a challenge, while it discomforting to find them as part of the Whitney Biennial this year.

http://whitney.org
The shape, the scent, the feel of things

10) Steve McQueen - London, 1969
Turner Prize (UK) winner, 1999, filmmaker, One of his best known works, Deadpan (1997), is a restaging of a Buster Keaton stunt in which a house collapses around McQueen who is left unscathed because he is standing where there is a missing window. His work is intriguing but not sure we fully understand it.

http://www.re-title.com


11) BONUS -- Jessica Stockholder - Seattle, WA, 1959
When I asked Lillian the question, her immediate reply was "Jessica Stockholder" in particular the installation you see on the link below. Stockholder says, "These things I find, buy, or accept as gifts, are made in myriad countries using a vast array of different skills, crafts and systems. They reference very different time periods, carry with them and reference many different histories. The collection of objects that I have easy access to is stunning in its diversity. I make my work in relationship to this backdrop and I have care and feeling for what it portends." I think you can see why Lillian feels connected to her work, but remains unsettled.

http://www.jessicastockholder.info

 

 

 

 

Jan Galligan y Lillian Mulero
75Grand/Sur
Santa Olaya, PR

http://75Grand.posthaven.com [foto blog]
http://cinefestsanjuan.posthaven.com [cine blog]
http://about.me/JanGalligan [about me]

En mi banco esta -- THE WAY IN

ARTISTAS EN PERFIL: En mi banco esta THE WAY IN
by Jan Galligan and Lillian Mulero



With hundreds of people milling about trying to make themselves heard over the noise and the excellent loud salsa music filling the main vestibule of Banco Popular’s world headquarters, Lillian pulls me close. She shouts, “In the two years we’ve been living on the island we’ve been surprised by the high quality of the art, and the energy and spirit of the artists here,” she says. I nod. “But this is the first time we’ve seen art of this quality and sophistication in a bank.” I agree. She pulls my arm leading me away from the crowd and noise and into Perugino, a wine bar bistro recently opened in the building lobby. Now we can have a decent conversation.

“Of the twenty-three artists in this exhibition we know the work of eighteen, and now we personally know over half of these artists,” she tells me. “We should try to meet the others,” I reply. “I’m working on it,” she says, “but that’s not what I’m thinking about at the moment...

Garvin Sierra, Capitalismo, woodcut on currency paper, 24”x32”, edition of 15, 2003.

Full article in English : originally published in Spanish in En Rojo, the cultural suppliment to Claridad, the national weekly newspaper of Puerto Rico.

Pepon Osorio, Rear View Mirror - detail: KING.


Article as published, in Spanish in En Rojo, the cultural suppliment to Claridad, the national weekly newspaper of Puerto Rico 23 mayo 2012.

The original 1967 article by Jay Jacobs Art in Puerto Rico can be found on the blog of Karla Marie Ostolaza: http://thefractal.net/2009/10/textos-fundamentales

click on this link in her blog article: "Como resultado la revista publicó una serie de artículos entre los que se incluye un ensayo crítico titulado “Art in Puerto Rico” de la autoría de Jay Jacobs."

 

 


 

Jan Galligan
75Grand/Sur
Santa Olaya, PR

 

http://75Grand.posterous.com [foto blog]
http://cinefestsanjuan.posterous.com [cine blog]
http://about.me/JanGalligan [about me]

 


Su casa es tu casa (por arte)

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Su casa es tu casa (de arte)
ARTISTS IN PROFILE: Their house is your house (for art)


"¿Cuándo es un coche no es un coche?" I ask Lillian. "Cuando se maneja en un garaje?" she replies. "And when is a house not a house?" I ask. "When it turns into an art gallery," she says. Lillian is correct.

Francisco Javier Rovira Rullán at Roberto Paradise, with painting by Jose Lerma.


Chemi Room - installation view, group exhibition, 2011

 

Full article in English : published in En Rojo, the cultural suppliment to Claridad, the
national weekly newspaper of Puerto Rico.

 

Article as published, in Spanish 14 mayo 2012.



Jan Galligan
75Grand/Sur
Santa Olaya, PR

http://75Grand.posterous.com [foto blog]
http://cinefestsanjuan.posterous.com [cine blog]
http://about.me/JanGalligan [about me]