Jesús 'Bubu' Negrón "Nothing Conceptual" curated by Radamés 'Juni' Figueroa at Embajada, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jesús 'Bubu' Negrón, La Barra de Paquito, 2016
Nothing Conceptual: La Meme Era @ La Barra de Paquito presents a series of works by Jesús 'Bubu' Negrón pulled from text message exchanges between himself and friend, artist, and collaborator, Radames 'Juni' Figueroa. Through this exchange of digital anecdotal imagery, wry commentary is instigated, better known in contemporary culture as the 'internet meme'. Using this language of contemporary communication, Bubu edits a selection of his personal memes that provoke an ironic reflection on politics, culture, and media.
The memes are mounted in laminated frames recalling bargain religious products and displayed in the gallery that has been transformed into a bar borrowing the aesthetics of the local village night spots of Bayamón. The site is named in honor of Figueroa's dog Paquito, inspired by Paquito's typical stance of eagerly standing on his hind legs, paws over the side of a barrier resembling what Negron amusingly likens to a bartender. He constructs sculptures and paintings made with cardboard from regional beer cases to further inform the space. A cardboard slot machine, simulating the locally made and illegitimately rigged machines that can be found in convenience stores across Puerto Rico, stands at Paquito's height. Equipped with a functioning screen, visitors are invited to play emphasizing his continued interest in creating a sense of community through artistic collaboration. The site-specific installation includes whimsical interventions from artists invited by Radamés 'Juni' Figueroa and Embajada featuring Trisha Baga, Alex Becerra, Borden Capalino, Bembi, Elizabeth Ferry, helper and Rachel Harrison, Kristen Fink, Leo Fitzpatrick, Adriana Lara, Adriana Martínez, Alex Ramos, Jessie Stead and R. Lyon, Martín Soto Clement, and Devin Troy Strother.
Jesús 'Bubu' Negrón was born in 1975 in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico and currently lives and works in the neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra in San Juan, where he is part of the Brigada PDT - a grass-roots community organization for the preservation and well-being of the neighborhood, its history and its people. Upon completion of his first artist residency with M&M Proyectos in 2002 in Puerto Rico, Negron’s work has been displayed in renowned galleries and institutions around the world, both individually and collectively. Some of his most notable collaborations include: Abubuya Km0 project organised by Kiosko Galeria, Bolivia; The Obscenity of the Jungle with Proyectos Ultravioleta for SWAB Barcelona in Spain (2013); the 1st Bienal Tropical in Puerto Rico (2011), where he was awarded the “Golden Pineapple” prize for best artist; Interpretation of theSoneto de las estrellas with Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico (2013), curated by Taiyana Pimentel; Trienal Poligráfica in Puerto Rico (2009), curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Julieta González and Jens Hoffmann; Sharjah Biennial in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2007), curated by Mohammed Kazem, Eva Scharrer and Jonathan Watkins; Whitney Biennial in New York (2006), curated by Chrissie Iles and Phillipe Vergne; the T1 Torino Trienale in Italy (2005), curated by Francesco Bonami and Carolyn Christov–Bakargiev, and Tropical Abstraction at the Steidelijk Bureau Museum in Amsterdam (2005), curated by Ross Gortzak. His work has been reviewed in major publications such as Flash Art, New York Times, Journal des Arts, LA Times, The Art Newspaper, Art Nexus and Frieze, among others.
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1982, obtained his BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas in 2007 and completed his Programa La Practica, Beta Local in San Juan Puerto Rico in 2003. In addition to his work as an artist, he has given talks at various institutions and art fairs, such as NADA in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago, and has acted as co-curator of the First Tropical Biennial that took place in San Juan in 2011, alongside curator Pablo Leon de la Barra. Most recently he has participated in the Whitney Biennial (2014) and his residency at the Malba Museum and La Ene in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which culminated in his site-specific installation being permanently acquired by the museum. He has held several solo exhibitions including a 2014 show at the Sculpture Center titled Naguabo Rainbow, Daguao Enchumbao, Fango Fireflies.
Exhibition: Jesús 'Bubu' Negrón "Nothing
Conceptual" curated by Radamés 'Juni' Figueroa runs through August 27,
2016 at Embajda, Calle Cesar Gonzalez 382 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918 / 787-220-1676, Open Saturdays from 1-6pm and
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