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JOIN US AT THE OPENING RECEPTION: THURS, June 27, 2018 | 7-9PM
Curated by Elizabeth Ferrer, VP of Contemporary Art
Artist David Rios Ferreira makes references to monster movies from his childhood like Godzilla, representing disturbances in the urban landscape in this mural for the BRIC Café. Combined with cartoonish characters and hints of historical structures, the hybridity of this imagery becomes a metaphor for the process of cultural appropriation and reconstitution crucial to identity-making in our postcolonial society. Dandelions and tropical leaves, photographic and illustrated, explode with a child-like playfulness, and locate the cityscape somewhere between the real bodies and fantasies of those who inhabit it. The artist’s manner of repeating, multiplying, and accumulating constitutes a strategy to visualize diasporic experiences that have been denied expression in words. As a queer Latinx artist, Rios Ferreira sees such hybridization as both necessary and problematic. On the one hand, this creative process can be traced back to Carribean culture, a space that fundamentally embodies an amalgamation of multiple ethnic heritages. It may, however, also suppress original traditions as seen in the deculturalization strategies of the U.S government in the 1950s towards Puerto Rican schoolchildren, which the artist’s own parents experienced. In this sense, the potentially chaotic process of making meaning out of this work draws attention to the question of how we are to make sense of our own position in a history of displacement, a theme of urgency to the citizens of Brooklyn.
Working across drawing, installation, and sculpture, David Rios Ferreira (b.1982, Bronx, NY) has had solo exhibitions at Rush Arts Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn; Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, the Bronx; and the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Vermont. He has been included in group exhibitions at institutions in New York, nationally, and abroad including BAM and Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; The Bronx Museum of the Arts and Wave Hill, both the Bronx; Aljira: a Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ; the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA; and Kunstraum Richard Sorge Gallery, Berlin. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Lower East Side Printshop and at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and he participated in The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program. Awards include the 2019 EdCom Award for Excellence in Practice from the American Alliance of Museums, the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture Fund for the Arts Grant, and the ArtSlant Grand Prize. Rios Ferreira holds a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union.
The café features a rotation of large-scale commissioned murals that envelop the first floor café space.
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