LnS GALLERY continues the exhibition season with the grand opening of LA MANCHA DE PLÁTANO, the first Miami- based solo show of works by Trek6. Oscar Montes, known as Trek6, is a graffiti artist born in Puerto Rico, based in Miami, and renowned for his innovative large-scale murals. LA MANCHA DE PLÁTANO pays homage to the island of Puerto Rico, titled to reference the idiom describing the lasting pigment that stains the hands of countryfolk who handle green lplantains, exploring the notion that we are identifiably and proudly marked by our origins. Cemented by the experience of revisiting his homeland transformed by natural disaster, the exhibit centers on themes of land altered by time, the complex narratives revealed by symbols within Taíno petroglyphs, and traditional aspects of Puerto Rican life. In the spirit of layered symbology, the show is accompanied by an exhibition catalog with an exploratory essay by Michael Knoll, Vice President, Curatorial Affairs at HistoryMiami Museum.
A centerpiece of the exhibit, BALCON DE TÍTÍ IRIS evolves from a photograph Trek6 took two decades ago: a view from the balcony of his Aunt Iris’ home. The painting depicts a vast forest spreading abundantly across tropical terrain. Today, that forest exists no longer. The artist reveals: “When I began this piece in 2017, Puerto Rico had recently been decimated by Category 5 Hurricane Maria, ravaging the lush greenery captured in my photograph. I created this painting to memorialize the beauty of Puerto Rico’s former landscape.”
Throughout the exhibition, Trek6 explores the history of the Taíno people who inhabited Puerto Rico at the time of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the New World. The work entitled LA YUIZA references the female Cacique of the same name, who governed and guarded the Caribbean island and her Taíno people. She forfeited her virtue to protect the Taíno from Spanish settlers, only to be rejected by her community as well as the Spaniards, who eventually killed her. “My intention with this painting of La Yuiza is to explore the beauty and sadness of her story, of the sacrifices she made. Solemnity and sensuality are both incorporated, to represent the powerful allure she had over the Spaniards,” says Trek6 of the portrait that references Taíno symbology, which the artist initially explored in sketches from the 1990’s and now reimagines in his current medium of graffiti, adding dimension to historically neutral stone-based carvings through his use of vivid, kaleidoscopic color.
As in other works, contemporary technique is joined with traditional aspects of Puerto Rican life in BÓMBA, the study of a woman in customary dress, her skirt swaying as she moves to the popular dance and percussion style for which the work is titled. Her backdrop is a festival in Loíza, a town dominated by African culture that plays a pivotal role in the artist’s family history and personal memories. The painting presents a classical view refracted through the lens of modernity, capturing a rhythm that transcends place and time, a beat born in the most ancient motherland — a beat that keeps pulsing in the hearts of the Caribbean people.
LA MANCHA DE PLÁTANO will be presented alongside selections of OOLITE and HIGHLIGHTS, featuring John William Bailly, Jennifer Basile, Tim Buwalda, Robert DeYoung, Jessie Laino, Gabriela Noelle, William Osorio, Arturo Rodríguez, César Trasobares, Tony Vazquez-Figueroa, Sinuhe Vega Negrin, Carlos Alfonzo, Tomás Sánchez, and others.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
6:00 – 9:00pm
EXHIBTION ON VIEW THROUGH
MARCH 14, 2018
2610 SW 28th Lane Miami FL 33133. 305 987 5642, INFO@LNSGALLERY.COM ,WWW.LNSGALLERY.COM
Sunday and Monday by appointment