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New York Cool - Arts

The (S) Files
El Museo del Barrio
Fifth Bienal
Opening Night Party and Exhibit
July 25, 2007- January 6, 2008

Written and Photographed by Wendy R. Wiliams




Artist - Alajandro Almanza Perida
(1977: Mexico City, Mexico)
Cinder blocks, lightbulbs, electrical cable, industrial plugs

On the night of July 25th, El Museo del Barrio launched its fifth exhibit of The (S) Files. Here is a quote from el Museo's website about the exhibit:

"El Museo’s Bienal celebrates the experimental, immediate pulse of contemporary art, and supports the work of emerging Latino / Latin American artists based in the New York metropolitan area. The exhibition has been curated by Elvis Fuentes, Associate Curator, El Museo del Barrio, and E. Carmen Ramos, Assistant Curator for Cultural Engagement, The Newark Museum, NJ. In addition, guest curator Rodolfo Kronfle Chambers (independent curator, Guayaquil , Ecuador ), has included in the exhibition a selection of works by five artists from Ecuador , this year’s invited guest country....The (S) Files” are literally “the selected files”, as many of the works on display have been chosen from the unsolicited submissions to El Museo’s Artists’ Archive over the past two years. This selection for the 5th bienal is the most expansive to date, with 51 artists showcasing work in traditional mediums such as drawing, painting and photography, as well as more experimental projects incorporating light, sound, and interactive elements, mobile sculptures and site-specific installations."

The exhibit's works have a young energetic on-the-move feeling, much like the feeling emanating from El Museo itself. The art ranged from more traditional Latin American art such as Blanka Amezkua's crocheted scarves to pop art video installations like Jessica Lagunas' Para besarte mejor (The Better to Kiss You With), a video of a hand painting a mouth with a bright red lipstick.

El Museo was founded in 1969 (in the midst of the civil rights movement) by a group of Puerto Rican activists. Decades have now passed and El Museo has expanded its goal to cover the art of all of Latin America and the Caribbean. El Museo is presently in the midst of a huge fund raising drive with the goal of totally remodeling their present space (see New York Cool's coverage of El Museo del Barrio's Masked Ball and also the pre-ball party at the Carolina Herrera store) .

Artist -Cecilia Mandrile
One Other (UnOtro), 2007

Artist -Cecilia Mandrile
One Other (UnOtro), 2007

Cecilia Mandrile's mixed media piece consisted of two soft sculptures placed in corners on opposite sides of the same wall; they were seemingly trying to reach each other through the wall.

Artist - Blanka Amezkua (1971: Mexico City, Mexico)
Embroidery and Crochet on Cotton Fabric

Artist - Andres Garcia Pena (1961; Milan, Italy)
Sabor Dulce de la Venganze No. 2
Oil, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas

Artist - Oscar Oiwa (1965; Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Beautiful World Meat Market
Oil on Canvas

Artist - Fernando Falconi (1980; Guayaquil, Ecuador)
Part of the Education (Educacion) Series

The Fernando Falconi paintings in the exhibit are a series of paintings based on the covers images of elementary school textbooks from Ecuador.

Artist - Jessica Lagunas (1971:Managua, Nicaragua)
Para besarte mejor (The Better to Kiss You With)

Artist - Jessica Lagunas (1971:Managua, Nicaragua)
Para acariciarte mejor (The Better to Caress You With)

Paulina Perera-Riveroll and R. Ilana Stomman
El Museo del Barrio Gift Shop

No visit to El Museo Del Barrio would be complete without a stop at the well- curated gift shop. But be well warned: if you enter, you will need your credit card for there will surely be at least one I-might-as-well-buy-it-right-now-or-I-will-just-have-to-come-back-tomorrow item on display.

The Scene at the Reception

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