Piece part of collective show Bestiario/Menagerie at Adobe Bookstore January 7, 2017.
Bestiario, from Spanish, can be roughly translated into "a collection or grouping of beasts." Similarly, a menagerie, a Gallicism, is typically imagined as a collection of savage, diverse creatures —transplanted, extracted, in solitary captivity or placed alongside unlikely counterparts in a strange or artificial environment.
These terms and their numerous connotations inform the works included in Bestiario/Menagerie.
Moreover, in a time where certain political figures frame Latin American immigrants and Latinxs as destructive elements in US society, this exhibition contrasts such racist manipulations by emphasizing the contribution of some of its creatives, enabling an appreciation of the variety of exuberant visual languages and styles they bring to contemporary art from Puerto Rico to California.
In Bestiario/Menagerie, the Adobe Books Gallery's white cube acts like a diorama for a curious, savage collection of artworks —bodies, entities, and environmental modules both imitating and punning the menageries of old.
Bestiario/Menagerie showcases works by artists working in San Juan, New York City, and the Bay Area, invoking a unique assemblage of Latin American and Latinx artists that will surely stimulate the visiting public at Adobe Books and enable them to find connections between the works, each referencing fantastic creatures, a variety of mythos, and terrestrial phenomena.
Exhibiting artists include: Mónica Félix (Puerto Rico/US), Fernando Pintado (Puerto Rico/US), Marcela Pardo Ariza (Colombia/US), Mya Pagán (Puerto Rico/US), Rafael Miranda-Matei (Puerto Rico/US), Paula Morales (Guatemala/US), Santiago Insignares (Colombia/US), María Guzmán-Capron (Colombia/Peru/US), Lionel Cruet (Puerto Rico/US), and Abdiel Segarra-Ríos (Puerto Rico/Spain).
The exhibition is curated by Á.R. Vázquez-Concepción, a San Francisco-based independent curator, graduate of the California College of the Arts, and founder of Cranium Corporation, a platform for fostering dialogue about the work of contemporary artists and exhibitions.