Cruz, Claudia. Dominican Art Exhibition at QMA. The Queens Courier. 10 Febuary 2010.
Tropical sunburst reds and ocean blues have transformed the Queens Museum of Art during the recent kick off celebration of Dominican Heritage Month.
The February 7 to March 7, 2010 exhibit titled Hibridos features for the first time ever at the Queens Museum of Art (QMA) several evocative Dominican artists whose work carry over a variety of mediums but who all equivocally capture the vibrancy and juxtapositions of Dominican culture.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This group show clearly establishes the socio-cultural hybridization that permeates Dominican visual arts, said curator Dio-genes Abreu in
regards to the milieu of people that settled by force or choice and influenced the Dominican Republic, including the Spaniards, Africans, the indigenous Taino Indians, Arabs, Japanese, Chinese, Sephardic Jews and Caribbean Blacks. Given that reality, it is not unusual to see Dominican subjects express their cultural identity through various aesthetic elements of different cultural backgrounds.
The nine artists have styles that range from the photojournalism of carnival subjects by Isaias Amaro and of the destitute in New York City by Maximiliano Medina, to the installation art of Abreu depicting the challenging, controversial but inevitable symbiosis of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to the U.S., to the thought provoking oil on canvas compositions of Tania Marmolejo, whose nude women disturb but force contemplation on ones morality and judgment of others. Other artists included Jesus Betances, Ismael Checo, Jorge Chiringo and Rafael de los Santos.
The youngest of the exhibitors, the U.S. born 24-year-old Raquel Manuela Colon, described her abstract art as where the optical meets surrealism. Her work, which looks like microscopic underwater corals or neurons, represents living things and its one big poetic expression of how our lives meet whether in a positive or negative way, she said.
The exhibit organized by the Hispanic/Latino Cultural Center of New York (HLCCNY) and the Dominico-American Visual Artist Collective hopes to continue providing space within the borough of Queens for Dominicans to express their culture, whether through art, music, theater, literature and poetry.
Our organization promotes the Hispanic culture and we want to promote something different, something out of the ordinary, said Juan Tinneo, executive director of HLCCNY, who hopes QMA invites them back next year. We believe that highlighting this aspect of the culture is important, especially for the youth.
Dominicans worldwide celebrate their heritage during the month when the nation won its independence from Haiti on February 27, 1844.
Bader, Daniel P. Art Seen Up Town. Manhattan Times: Requestor at Home Edition. Vol. 9 No. 34 August 21 - August 27, 2008.
Like many of us, local artists Raquel Colon has looked at where life has put her and searched for patterns on how she got there. She seeks to
illustrate that searching, wondering feeling in her piece, Vertebrae part of the larger show called Tracing Lucidity. To here, every fluid line in the composition represents an individual organism.
The line or individuals growth seems to be affected by what is happening around it, Colon explained. I explore the balance or erraticism and lucidity of life in this complex world. For example, at certain points in the painting the optical illusion seems to make a pattern and then that pattern dissolves into something apparently more random.
Vertebrae uses latex paint with watercolor. When the
painting is dry the latex is removed leaving a gradation of color in the lines that Colon says form subtle optical illusions.
As I start a composition I think about tree rings, shells, hairs, the marks the tide leaves on the sand, and more. In sum, I consider those things, living or not that seem to record the passage of time and how their ecosystem affects them, Colon said, describing her work as treading between op art and surrealism.
Tracing Lucidity exhibits works on paper, prints on fabric and photography. The photos are from Colons trip to Kampala to support Safe Alternatives for Youth, which she funded through her last exhibit. While there she founded and funded a program through SAFY called Talking Pictures, an art-based program that educates and fosters discussion about issues like HIV/AIDS.
She decided to exhibit her work at the Rio Gallery because it is owned by the non-profit Broadway Housing Communities. A percentage of the money raised through the sale of the artwork will go to support that organization, and part of the sales of the photographs will be donated to SAFY.
One of my main goals is to have the viewer contemplate what rational and random acts have placed him or her in such a different living situation than a child in Uganda. I hope my art will evoke peaceful thoughts about how close we really are and how we can help each other, Colon said.