new-york

Pepón Osorio

El Museo del Barrio

Although Pepón Osorio has been making art for 15 years, this retrospective shows only his work from 1985 to the present. In this seven-year period, Osorio—who is a black Puerto Rican—has engaged in an ongoing dialogue with his own non-European cultural heritages, rather than with European-derived art history.

Osorio’s investigation of culturally contextualized identity takes the form of mixed-media constructions, installations, and dance performances. The dialectic between individual and cultural identity that has consistently informed Osorio’s oeuvre is most evident in the works based on the artist’s childhood memories of Puerto Rico. In these works everyday objects, such as a bicycle, are excessively adorned with plastic trinkets, or chucherias. This process taps into autobiographical sources even as it reenacts the shared cultural ritual of transforming one’s surroundings through

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