Loiza, a new site specific installation by Puerto Rican artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine at The Belt / Library Street Collective, Chicago

Puerto Rican artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine

Detroit, MI — August 21 — On Friday, August 25, at 6pm, Library Street Collective will debut Loiza, a new site specific installation with functional sculptures by Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine, in the Belt—the formerly disused alleyway that Library Street Collective has transformed into a dynamic public exhibition space. Loiza is inspired by the culture of Barrio Loiza in Puerto Rico, where roadside kioskos (kiosks) sell food and offer friends and acquaintances a site to gather, chat, and build community. During the event, mixologists from Standby, the James Beard-nominated establishment also located in the Belt, will serve craft cocktails inspired by Puerto Rican influences and a mariachi band will perform. Renown nail artist AstroWifey, with whom the artist collaborated with at his installation Imperial Nail Salon at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, will be creating Caribbean-inspired themed nail art (individual prices range on a theme and available on a first come, first served basis). 

Rolón is an internationally-recognized artist whose artistic practice is informed by a post-colonial vantage point, his sense of and relationship with the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, and a distinctive autobiography. Loiza includes several components that are markers of comfort and domesticity, including handmade ceramic tile tables, a Jibaro garden made of cinderblock and artificial flowers, and hanging hand-crafted shell macramés that complement a site-specific wall installation. A palm tree, petrified and wrapped in lights, serves to further immerse visitors in an experience of a particular memory of the Caribbean. 

In 2018, Library Street Collective plans to host a solo exhibition of new work by Rolón. Coinciding with this exhibition, Library Street Collective and Louis Buhl will produce a signed, hand pulled 24 x 24’’ screen print titled Fountain of Youth as part of Rolón’s Tropical Floral painting series. Edition size and release date forthcoming. 

Rolón’s previous artistic projects in Detroit include Vintage Voyages and Atomic Memories (2016), a sitespecific installation and performance in the Mobile Homestead at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). In this domestic space, the artist created a pop-up nail salon, which like Loiza, transforms personal history—in this instance, his mother’s work-from-home business as a nail technician on the Southside of Chicago—into an environment that allows visitors to enter and be welcomed into his world. Additionally, in July of this year, Rolón was among the participating artists in Unobstructed Views, a collaborative exhibition and benefit auction that MOCAD and Library Street Collective cohosted at the Historic W. Hawkins Ferry House.

“When visitors walk through the passageway of Loiza, the hope is when you enter the environment, you're immediately transported to another place and time. You forget for a moment about the world around you and become immersed in the present moment. More importantly, as an artist who incorporates a social practice component within my studio practice, it’s important for me to recreate ideas of memory that have personally created a sense of community and diaspora that exists independently of our smart phones, and create conversation,” Rolón states. 

About the Artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine (b. 1970, Chicago, IL) has had solo exhibitions at The Dallas Contemporary, Dallas; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and CAM Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. His work has also been exhibited in group shows at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Marta Herford Museum, Herford, Germany; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museo del Barrio, New York and Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Canary Islands; Oakland University Art Gallery, Michigan and Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. 

In 2007 Rolón represented Ukraine in the 52nd Venice Biennale. He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation award for Painting and Sculpture. Rolón’s work is included in the following public collections: Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Brooklyn Museum, New York; City of Chicago Public Art Collection; Deagu Art Museum, Deagu; Museo del Barrio, New York; Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; and Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine, among others. 

About Library Street Collective Library Street Collective specializes in cutting edge contemporary fine art with a focus on emerging and established artists who have pushed the boundaries of traditional medium and exhibition space. Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, we present regular group and solo exhibitions while contributing to the artistic renaissance of the city's public, private, and heritage spaces. It is our mission to bring both world-renowned artists and exciting new work to a reimagined Detroit, as well as carry this sentiment as we expand our presence through exhibitions, special projects and art fairs nationally and internationally.