Artists: Radames “Juni” Figueroa, Chloe Wilcox
Venue: Embajada, San Juan
Exhibition Title: Suavitel Entertainment Club
Date: November 02 – December 21, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Embajada, San Juan
Embajada & Proyectos Ultravioleta present
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa
Suavitel Entertainment Club
Nov 02–Dec 21, 2019
Inaugurating La Oficina de la Embajada:
Nov 02–Dec 21, 2019
Embajada is pleased to announce
Suavitel Entertainment Club, Radamés
“Juni” Figueroa’s first solo exhibition at Embajada, opening November 02 through December 14, 2019.
Suavitel Entertainment Club continues Figueroa’s playful autobiographical reflections through a mix of personal references and critical humor. A site specific installation transforms the gallery into a space for entertainment and social gathering with colored lights, pastel walls, and pole dancing platforms that double as benches. On a constructed pale blue wall, Figeuroa presents a series of small-scale paintings depicting pre-columbian indigenous figures in kamasutra positions. In this new series Figueroa pokes fun at the recent attention given to indeginous influences in contemporary art as a way to counter the severity with which we look at these cultures.
Vibrant large scale canvases line the opposite wall, densely filled with his coded language of pop culture and rebellious symbols. Skulls, webs, bats, snakes, clowns, rainbows and sex are recurring tropes that emphasize an ironic punk vernacular. Meanwhile inside jokes and references to art and music instigate deeper reflection. In one large canvas Figueroa portrays himself as a contemporary version of Matisse’s Young Sailor from 1906. While the gesture can be read as sarcasm, it simultaneously invites comparisons between Figueroa’s painting style and the flattened surfaces introduced by Matisse that was so avant garde at the time.
Two assemblage sculptures made from juxtaposing found objects together also appear, echoing the spirit of the paintings in 3D form. The objects, one made with a tortoise shell, the other with a deer skull, suggest associations with santeria, while a nearby painting depicts a contemporary shaman invoking transcendental and metaphysical states. In the back of the gallery Figueroa mounts a shop for his emerging label, Warevel Socio. The shop will feature shirts made in his signature punk aesthetic as well as new collaborations with other artists.
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa (b, 1982) lives and works in San Juan, PR. Solo exhibitions of his work include Sal Si Puedes, at Roberto Paradise Gallery, San Juan (2012). Past projects include Tree House – Club House, a live monumental sculpture at a forest in Naguabo, Puerto Rico (2013); Triangle Eucalyptus for Meditation, 43 Salon Inter-Nacional, Medellin, Colombia (2013), Salvajismo Caribeño, an intervention on the Roof of Houses in Barrio La Perla in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009); and Parada “Phantom,” (Tropical Bus Stop), created in a public space in San Juan (2009). Figueroa will be included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.