Rock da Mic (after Shaggy Dog)

Rock da Mic (after Shaggy Dog)

mentholated petrolatum on duraflex

12 x 8 x 2 inches

Winter 2018-2019

In "Rock da Mic (after Shaggy Dog)" I poured a 1/4 inch thick layer of mentholated petrolatum directly onto the duraflex print and once dried removed some of it with my finger to expose the image of the microphone at the center. The duraflex print sits in an acrylic frame cushioned by a 1/2 inch of mentholated petrolatum. The title of the piece comes from a Reggae track written by the Indonesian music group Shaggy Dog.

"Rock da Mic (after Shaggy Dog)" forms part of the series “Towards the Newest Laocoon” where I focus on petrolatum based products like Vicks VapoRub and Vaseline as my primary medium. I am interested in the placebo quality of these products and how they have been integrated into Caribbean culture.

For Your Broken Shin (after Shakespeare)

For Your Broken Shin (after Shakespeare)

Watch it Burn show at Trestle Art Gallery

mentholated petrolatum on banana leaf in petrolatum filled acrylic frame.

12 x 16 x 1 inches

Fall 2018

The title, "For Your Broken Shin" is taken from a line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet where Romeo tells Mercutio, “Your plantain leaf is excellent for that (broken shin)” (1.2.53). I apply mentholated petrolatum on the plantain leaf to reinforce this idea of healing.

The plantain leaf in "For Your Broken Shin" sits in an acrylic frame cushioned by a 1/2 inch of mentholated petrolatum, the mentholated petrolatum in turn is framed by a thick border of petroleum jelly, creating contrasting values. Compositionally I looked to Josef Albers.

The piece forms part of the series “Towards the Newest Laocoon” where I focus on petrolatum based products like Vicks VapoRub and Vaseline as my primary medium. I am interested in the placebo quality of these products and how they have been integrated into Caribbean culture.

"For Your Broken Shin (after Shakespeare)" was exhibited at a show in Trestle Gallery in 2018 curated by Carmen Hermo entitled “Watch it Burn” which partly explored issues relating to containment and material abstraction.

Colgão Diptych

Colgão Diptych

mentholated petrolatum on banana leaves

60 x 96 inches each

Summer 2018

The title of the piece comes from the cibaeño pronunciation of the Spanish word for "hanging". El Cibão is a rural region in the northern part of the Dominican Republic known for its agriculture. I grew up watching the women in my family use plantain leaves to cook. They were used to add flavor and keep foods moist, always discarded once the meal was over. The leaves were cut to size, either to cover an entire pot of rice or to the individual portions size of pasteles which are the Caribbean equivalent to Mexican tamales. Pasteles, like tamales, are laborious and much prized delicacies, thus their production is a cottage industry that started in Puerto Rico and spread to their confusingly non-immigrant diaspora in NYC. In Colgão I monumentalize the organic wrapper by enlarging it almost 10 times.

"Colgao" was exhibited for a 2018 show curated by Alex Santana entitled "Morir Soñando" which borrows its name from the popular Dominican beverage, and literally translates into the expression “to die dreaming.” The plantain leaves used for my painting were not preserved and throughout the course of the exhibition slowly wilted away.

Colgão Diptych detail and performance

Colgão Diptych detail and performance

60 x 96 inches each

Summer 2018

The title of the piece comes from the cibaeño pronunciation of the Spanish word for "hanging". El Cibão is a rural region in the northern part of the Dominican Republic known for its agriculture. I grew up watching the women in my family use plantain leaves to cook. They were used to add flavor and keep foods moist, always discarded once the meal was over. The leaves were cut to size, either to cover an entire pot of rice or to the individual portions size of pasteles which are the Caribbean equivalent to Mexican tamales. Pasteles, like tamales, are laborious and much prized delicacies, thus their production is a cottage industry that started in Puerto Rico and spread to their confusingly non-immigrant diaspora in NYC. In Colgão I monumentalize the organic wrapper by enlarging it almost 10 times.

"Colgao" was exhibited for a 2018 show curated by Alex Santana entitled "Morir Soñando" which borrows its name from the popular Dominican beverage, and literally translates into the expression “to die dreaming.” The plantain leaves used for my painting were not preserved and throughout the course of the exhibition slowly wilted away.

My attire for the opening which included a guayabera shirt, a straw hat, Yankees baseball knee length socks and Chuck Taylors spoke to my roots both “jibaro” (rural Puerto Rican) and urban.

Eye Level (after Stuart Davis)

Eye Level (after Stuart Davis)

yucca and epoxy resin on found subway ads 

49¼ x 37¾ x 2½ inches

2016

"Eye Level (after Stuart Davis)" has a wooden frame wrapped in resined banana leaves. The graphic quality is inspired by the graffiti on the walls of the buildings facing Whitlock avenue between 165th street and Westchester Avenue in the North/South Bronx border.

Those markings, along with many others that have adorned the areas bordering the I-95, serve as a visual reminder of the effects of the north/south division of the Bronx brought about by the expressways that hover over Whitlock avenue. The decades of urban decay that followed their construction has generated a 'tale of two cities' that has not gone unnoticed by Hollywood and other media outlets over the latter part of the 20th century.

In "Eye Level (after Stuart Davis)" yucca (cassava) is peeled, ground, shaved and mixed with resin and plastered on found subway ads. I looked to Chris Ofili’s elephant dung paintings in working with yucca to evoke the painterly.

This painting is part of the series “Whitlock and 165th” wherein materials commonly found in Afro-Caribbean kitchens, the urban bodegas of the Dominican diaspora and subway platforms are used.

A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)

A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)

gandules and epoxy resin on found commercial print

112 x 48 inches

2016

"A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)" is made up of 2 panels, 56 x 48 inches each. Gandules or pigeon peas are boiled, mashed and mixed with resin and plastered onto a collage of corroded Spanish and English magazine ads that speak to my fascination with printed media and urban blight.

"A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)" is part of the series “Whitlock and 165th” wherein materials commonly found in Afro-Caribbean kitchens, the urban bodegas of the Dominican diaspora and subway platforms are used. I looked to Chris Ofili’s elephant dung paintings in working with gandules to evoke the painterly.

A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci) detail

A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci) detail

gandules and epoxy resin on found commercial print

112 x 48 inches

2016

"A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)" is made up of 2 panels, 56 x 48 inches each. Gandules or pigeon peas are boiled, mashed and mixed with resin and plastered onto a collage of corroded Spanish and English magazine ads that speak to my fascination with printed media and urban blight.

"A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)" is part of the series “Whitlock and 165th” wherein materials commonly found in Afro-Caribbean kitchens, the urban bodegas of the Dominican diaspora and subway platforms are used. I looked to Chris Ofili’s elephant dung paintings in working with gandules to evoke the painterly.

“A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)”  detail

“A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)” detail

gandules and epoxy resin on found commercial print

112 x 48 inches

2016

"A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)" is made up of 2 panels, 56 x 48 inches each. Gandules or pigeon peas are boiled, mashed and mixed with resin and plastered onto a collage of corroded Spanish and English magazine ads that speak to my fascination with printed media and urban blight.

"A Tempest Diptych (after Leonardo da Vinci)" is part of the series “Whitlock and 165th” wherein materials commonly found in Afro-Caribbean kitchens, the urban bodegas of the Dominican diaspora and subway platforms are used. I looked to Chris Ofili’s elephant dung paintings in working with gandules to evoke the painterly.

"The (New) School of Athens (after Raphael)"

"The (New) School of Athens (after Raphael)"

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

2016

In the installation “The New School of Athens (after Raphael)” there are two pivotal references, one ancient and monumental, the other modern and personal. I compiled 25 images of people caught posing like either Raphael’s Aristotle or his Plato figure from his famous painting. The larger images in this installation are of latino figures in politics, the arts and entertainment, Oscar de La Renta, Fidel Castro, Chino Moreno and Melissa MarkViverito.

The installation is composed of newspaper clippings, monograph pages, trading cards, photos and inkjet prints. The inpiration for this piece came from a trip I made to the Dominican Consulate in Times Square NYC in 2015 to apply for Dominican citizenship.

Prominently displayed over the service window in the waitingroom was a letter size inkjet color image of Oscar de la Renta who at that point had been dead for over a year. The waiting room was transformed into an unlikely sacred space once I caught sight of the celebrated designer’s image. It reminded me of visiting the Vatican for the first time and seeing the representations of prominent secular figures like Aristotle and Plato in a religious space. “The New School of Athens (after Raphael)” was exhibited in Lisbon, Portugal at the Roundabout.LX residency space in 2016.

"The (New) School of Athens (after Raphael)" detail

"The (New) School of Athens (after Raphael)" detail

Mixed media

Dimensions variable

2016

In the installation “The New School of Athens (after Raphael)” there are two pivotal references, one ancient and monumental, the other modern and personal. I compiled 25 images of people caught posing like either Raphael’s Aristotle or his Plato figure from his famous painting. The larger images in this installation are of latino figures in politics, the arts and entertainment, Oscar de La Renta, Fidel Castro, Chino Moreno and Melissa MarkViverito.

The installation is composed of newspaper clippings, monograph pages, trading cards, photos and inkjet prints. The inpiration for this piece came from a trip I made to the Dominican Consulate in Times Square NYC in 2015 to apply for Dominican citizenship.

Prominently displayed over the service window in the waitingroom was a letter size inkjet color image of Oscar de la Renta who at that point had been dead for over a year. The waiting room was transformed into an unlikely sacred space once I caught sight of the celebrated designer’s image. It reminded me of visiting the Vatican for the first time and seeing the representations of prominent secular figures like Aristotle and Plato in a religious space. “The New School of Athens (after Raphael)” was exhibited in Lisbon, Portugal at the Roundabout.LX residency space in 2016.