Apartment Gallery Series

The En Foco Apartment Gallery Series is an effort to provide underserved communities with access to the arts and acknowledge the value of alternative exhibition spaces.

The first exhibition, Perdidos, opened October 28th 2017, at AAA3A and featured the work of Christian Rodriguez, and Groana Melendez, and was curated by Oscar J Rivera.
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Groana Melendez’s series “El Nombre Mio, Ajeno” explores the reality of the struggle to balance out ones identities. Melendez uses photographs taken in the Dominican Republic, and the US to polarize the examples of culture. Melendez’s family becomes a symbol of these differences and their relationships with Groana illustrate the cultural tensions.

 

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Christian Rodriguez’s series “Learning From My Father,” much like Melendez, attaches the representation of Dominican culture to a family member. Rodriguez photographs his father, to gain a better understanding of his father and his culture. Rodriguez’s photographs explore the relationship between culture and morality. Elders are often the anchors to culture and heritage and as they pass on, they take those connections with them.

Curator’s Statement

 

Oscar J RiveraThe second exhibition, Transitions, opened November 1st, 2017 at The Bronx Breeze Gallery, and featured the works of Andrea Ibarra, and Emily Raboteau and was curated by Oscar J Rivera.

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Andrea Ibarra’s series “Mediums,” is an attempt to disrupt the phenomenon of the “screen” being the medium affecting the way we perceive the world. Ibarra photographs natural landscapes and then digitally manipulates the image. Her use of the digital landscape forces the viewer to consider how their phone screens manipulate and abstract how they engage with their surroundings and the natural world. Ibarra’s images merge the natural and digital landscapes in an effort to critique how prevalent the societal dependence on absorbing massive amounts of information and having the breadth of the Internet within the palm of ones hand.

 

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Emily Raboteau’s series “ On the Blue Line,” is a portrait of NYC Subway Stations on the A line in Washington Heights. Raboteau photographs the advertisements that are left to decay. The photographs become abstract paintings, that act as a record of the lack of maintenance the station receives. While Ibarra’s photographs act as an intermediary to consumerism, Raboteau’s are a byproduct of it. As the more affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan continue to flourish, neighborhoods like Washington Heights are neglected, despite being increasingly gentrified. That neglect is realized in the layers of torn posters left in various stations across the A line.

Curator’s Statement

 

The final exhibition, Three Minutes, opened November 3rd, 2017 at the Hamilton Landmark GalleriesHamilton Landmark Galleries, and featured the work of Imani Tudor, Jon Henry, and Kris Graves and was curated by Oscar J Rivera.

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Imani Tudor presents the reality that many black and brown folks are trapped in. Her series “Criminalize” is a fictional first person account of the experience of being ignored, underserved, and over-policed. Tudor’s work is a visceral account of surviving in a system designed to limit growth, access and opportunity.

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Jon Henry’s series “Stranger Fruit,” recreates the pieta using black mothers and their sons to viscerally illustrate that black mothers are more likely to lose their sons to senseless acts of police violence. Each image is haunting, the terrifying possibility of “Will I be next?” looming in each frame.

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Kris Graves, in his series “A Bleak Reality,” visited the sites where police killed 8 black men. Greaves renders each space timeless, perpetually holding on to the memory of each tragedy. Each photograph forces the audience to experience the voids created by institutionalized racism.

Curator’s Statement