Chicago

Bibiana Suárez

Sazama Gallery

In Bibiana Suárez’s recent show, entitled “In Search of an Island,” the geographic silhouette of Puerto Rico dominated six of the eight large pastel drawings exhibited. Here, the island of her birth is malleable and chameleonlike, mirroring her conflicting feelings about her homeland. It appears as a black hole absorbing life and light, as a dangerous-looking spiny sea creature, as a bit of tropic flotsam sailing by in a placid sea, or even as a chamber of the human heart, veined and throbbing with life. Animating these sequences is the ambiguous and tortured geopolitical status of Puerto Rico itself—the varying psychological ramifications of its position, as commonwealth, colony, protectorate, state-to-be, province, or nascent independent nation vis-à-vis the larger United States. Suárez’s heritage lends her commitment to pictorialize her personal sentiments as well as to partake in the

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