Mana Contemporary and Clocktower Present:
Focus on Puerto Rico
Focus on Puerto Rico, a shared initiative by Clocktower, Mana Contemporary, and MECA International Art Fair, is a program dedicated to celebrating artists from Puerto Rico and the diaspora. Focus on Puerto Rico encompasses a three-month studio residency, which includes a culminating exhibition at Mana Wynwood, open studio events, performances, and other programming. Focus on Puerto Rico aims to trigger a growing dialogue between Latin American artists living both locally in Miami and abroad.
Located in the historic 777 Mall in Downtown Miami, the artists-in-residence will host open studios and performances each day of Miami Art Week 2017. At Mana Wynwood, the Focus on Puerto Rico exhibition (curated by Marina Reyes Franco and Ysabel Pinyol) highlights the residents’ recent work, which varies from sculpture, to installation, to textiles, to technology.
Focus on Puerto Rico aims to celebrate Puerto Rican artists and provide a platform to garner broader access to, and understanding of, Puerto Rico’s contemporary social-political landscape—addressing issues facing the territory in relation to the U.S. policy and the Caribbean at-large.
Focus on Puerto Rico was made possible through the shared initiatives of Clocktower, Mana Contemporary, and MECA International Art Fair, born from a longstanding relationship between Clocktower Founder, Alanna Heiss, and the Puerto Rican arts community.
Daniel Bejar is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in New York. His work considers and critiques the representation of history, place, and the self within the structures of power that encompass our physical and digital worlds. Through forms of performance and intervention, Bejar inserts himself and his work into public sites and systems (such as Google search engines, Google Maps, protest rallies at Republican National conventions, and a no-fly zone over the Super Bowl in New Jersey) to construct new narratives within the public realm.
Poncili Creación is a group that generates performatic and audiovisual experiences that sprout from their interactive sculptures. Since 2012 they have been working with large-scale foam objects in the form of installations, sculptures, and communication tools.
López lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in sculpture from Escuela de Artes Plásticas (EAP) in 2013. He is a 2014–16 grantee of a BBVA Bancomer – Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil fellowship in México City, and has been included in the last two editions of the Muestra Nacional exhibition in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Matotumba (MTTMB) is an art collective and experimental music group formed in the year 2000 by audio-visual artists from Puerto Rico mostly known for their improvised electronic-experimental music proposal, visual arts, theatre and site-specific performances, videos and film, and documentaries scores.
Andria Morales (b. 1982, New York) is a visual artist and member of the internet-based duo Escobar-Morales. Her work explores identity through a variety of media and collaborative experiments. Her work is included in collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, El Museo del Barrio, and Yale University Library.
Elizabeth Robles (b. 1960, Puerto Rico) works mostly in sculpture, installations, and performances at walking distance from her home. The relationship with her surroundings leads her to produce an art of connections and coexistence between objects found or created, materialities, architecture, and the urban and rural fabric.
Recipient of the residency from the Mecanismos section of MECA art fair, Yiyo Tirado was born in the city of San Juan Puerto Rico, on September 24, 1990. He studied at the San Antonio College of Rio Piedras. In 2008 he began studying mechanical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. In 2010 he transferred to the School of Plastic Arts of Puerto Rico (EAP) where he began his baccalaureate in painting. In 2013 he founded the Abayarde Taller de Artes Gráficas, located in Old San Juan.
Rafael Vargas Bernard
Born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Rafael Vargas Bernard studied computer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, sculpture at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico, and La Práctica at Beta Local. His work explores functional and non-functional systems (including power structures, economic systems, and generative systems) and societies relationship with these. His work has been exhibited at Exit Art (New York), Peripher (Zürich), and Las Naves (Valencia), and is part of the permanent collection of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico.