20 December 2013

Feliz Navidad

© Brandon Queen, 2013
A combination of the holidays, a never-ending analysis of Puerto Rican Spiritist literature and a part-time gig in a sexy boutique have prevented me from updating with some of the many art happenings that have taken place in San Juan since November. Some of those include a few interesting shows at Galeria Espacio 304 and yet another obscenely amazing international street art festival called Los Muros Hablan (The Walls Are Talking).

But I don't want to leave anyone empty-handed at the holidays, so rather than the gift of another review I thought I'd leave you with a stocking-stuffer run-down of what's been covered here over the past year.

Appropriately enough, this blog began with an entry about the Puerta al paisaje exhibit, where I couldn't say enough good things about painter Carmelo Sobrino. Then came my grudging acknowledgment of performance art followed by a foray into gossip and architectural history. The frivolity continued with a note about eighteenth-century European artist Luis Parét y Alcázar. 

We shot back to the modern world with a trip to a comic-inspired exhibit organised by Pernicious Press. Gritty modernity kept its hold in a brief mention of the other urban art festival, Santurce es ley. That entry was followed by a quick summary of Puerto Rico's other major artistic strength, poster art, and one of the genre's elder statesmen, Antonio Martorell. The national theme continued with a review of the National Expo 2013, where the best of the best were showcased. When spring term finals cut time short, I decided to highlight another one of San Juan's Art Deco treasures, the Arriví Theatre in Santurce.

The summer highlight was the second half of the Puerta al paisaje exhibit, Entremundanos, at the Puerto Rican Museum of Contemporary Art. As I'm a fan of extreme time travel, that review was followed by a note on the pre-columbian art of the Tainos and archaeology in Puerto Rico.

Student work got a shout-out in this review of Omar Velázquez's exhibit Undo. Finally, in October, I reviewed another survey of national art that focused on the work of Elizam Escobar at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art.

And here we are, dear readers.

I hope this past year will have introduced some of you to some amazing new work and piqued your interest in Puerto Rico's art historical tradition. It's rich and varied and what has been covered here is not even close to scratching the surface. There are new exhibition spaces opening every month and the festivals, talks, and publications are multiplying exponentially.

For now, happy holidays and hasta 2014!