In his recent publication, Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes, the prestigious publisher Phaidon Press (one of the world leading publishers in the publication of books of visual arts, architecture, art, photography and design) revealed the cities to watch in the contemporary art world. Among the twelve cities are: Beirut, Bogotá, Cluj, Delhi, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Lagos, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Singapore, Vancouver and SAN JUAN of Puerto Rico.
Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes explores the artistic, cultural heritage and the contemporary environment of these twelve cities. Twelve curators each selected eight artists to represent the avant-garde of a specific city. These artists are established or emerging figures working in familiar mediums or inventing their own (traditional and non-traditional), but all share two qualities: a commitment to experimental art and a dedication to their local environment. Among these artists chosen for SAN JUAN by curator Pablo León de la Barra are: Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Michael Linares, Melvin Martínez, Tony Cruz, Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa and Beatriz Santiago Muñoz. The effervescence of the contemporary art on the island is clear and the caliber of the artists unquestionable. This book expands the historical narrative, allowing us to imagine a future of aesthetic diversity and concerns shared in the common language of contemporary art. It is an honor for us to be internationally recognized by our contemporary artists all creating from our Island.
Taking, Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes, arises, Calibán, a traveling exhibition of (6) six of the artists reviewed in the publication: Chemi Rosado Seijo, Alia Farid, Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Melvin Martínez and Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa.
This group of artists echoes the contemporary production of the art scene in Puerto Rico in the last decade. Established figures that work in different media (traditional and nontraditional), but all share two qualities: a commitment to experimental art and a dedication to the local environment.
In dialogue with the most comprehensive concerns, these artists bring a unique sensibility, by exploring the artistic cultural heritage and contemporary environment of our city. They transcend boarders, they live, work and produce their work from here (Puerto Rico) to the world.
Calibán is an exhibition with the intention of providing a space for the narrative of the local art scene by those who build it. The exhibition provides a framework for the production of Radames “Juni” Figueroa, Karlo Ibarra, Jesus “Bubu” Negrón in collaboration with Alia Farid, Melvin Martinez, and Chemi Rosado Seijo, presenting a selection of the multiplicity of practices including drawing, installation, sculpture, video and painting.
Under the curatorship of Marina Reyes Franco, the exhibition arises from a postcolonial perspective and uses as reference the essays Calibán, by Roberto Fernández Retamar, El Destierro de Calibán by Ivan de la Nuez and the interpreted literary analysis of the characters in the play, The Tempest by William Shakespeare, with its references to the Caribbean and Latin America.
This exhibition is not just one more instance of showing work, but to use the opportunity to retake the word about how artists in Puerto Rico and the scene are understood and represented at the local art scene and its relevance to the art scene worldwide.
Calibán recently inaugurated at the Puerto Rico Contemporary Art Musem (MAC) in SAN JUAN (December 2014), following The National Museum of Art and Culture of Chicago. CHICAGO (April 2015).