On a Tangible Rendition of Ourselves, the Root of Egophilia

por: Ralph Vazquez

Touring the ego may seem like an exercise in the banal and the superficial, when in fact it can be the furthest thing from it. To explore ones own vision of the world is to understand how the systems of socialization and culturization operate, and how these have had varying degrees of success in shaping our self-concept and self-image. Impression management is pervasive in the arts, since it is the aspect of things that guide everyone’s idea of how every system of appreciation or production operate, and also because it is an industry concerned in part with defining the boundaries of the concept of beauty, the most elusive of all labels. In homage to the varieties of the egonautical experience we have prepared a sample of self portraits by contemporary Puerto Rican artists, which run the gamut from the unknown to the household name, that seeks to attack head on the possibility of narcissism in their work, and the likely turn to the bizarre as a means of expressing each individual’s unicity.

Western society is individualistic, and within the Western myriad of cultures American culture stands out as one of the most extreme. Because of our contact with America and Europe our Puerto Rican culture has suffered a great deal of changes, beginning with language and ramifying to almost every aspect of our lives. In this exhibit we can also get a glimpse of this cultural transformation.

Every artist has curated not only their participation but has shaped the contribution by others. In this sense it is a self-curated exhibit produced by the same artists participating, it seemed like the most effective way to bring us all together under one overarching subject, as the title of the exhibition is. We engage one another in a ballet of modalities, creating different experiences for our viewers and making contact, hopefully, on a very personal level.

From Rafael Miranda’s overt act of jest, or Quintín Rivera’s exploration of the self, to perhaps Guelmo Rosa’s eulogy to a beloved pet that passed away or Wilfredo Santana’s bestiary, the exhibit is a complex experiment, and its resulting body is testament to the unique and genuine nature of each artist. In it you find an arsenal of techniques and strategies that reflect each individual’s education, process and overall determination. It is with this in mind that we welcome you into a most intimate exhibit, with a corpus that aims to establish a clearer communication with our spectators; to reveal fundamental aspects of ourselves and help break the social barriers that separate us as well as keep us away from each other. As social beings artists thirst to be understood, and it is with this premise in mind that we welcome you to Egophilia: Narcissism and the Bizarre.

Ralph Vazquez-Concepcion
Curator alongside Angelina Stevcic-Cornier for La Ratonera and participating artist in Egophilia’s lineup

Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías se celebró en el espacio cART Watch el pasado 14 de julio de 2011, siendo el segundo evento de la serie de exhibiciones La Ratonera, coordinada por Ralph Vázquez y Angelina Stevcic

La exposición es producto de la yuxtaposición del concepto del autorretrato, el amor propio, lo esotérico de la mirada hacia el interior y lo que muchas veces nos parece bizarro de todos los demás, la unicidad. En cada caso exhibido el artista imbuye la pieza con su identidad, abordando el medio seleccionado y procesando la idea de si mismo y luego conjugando todo en una obra, producto de ese análisis.

Las diversas personalidades desembocan en muy distintas rendiciones, todas productos de una manera muy actual de autodocumentarse y autorrepresentarse, en algunos casos reflectivas de la conciencia que trae consigo modalidades como las redes sociales o quizá la nostalgia por el lenguaje del retrato tradicional. La muestra es un continuo de posibilidades, y crea también un tapiz que ilustra un tour de force del arte actual boricua.

Participaron de la muestra Wilfredo Santana, Guelmo Rosa, Rafael Miranda, Danny Fernández, Danny García, Quintín Rivera-Toro, Abdiel Segarra, Lucca Nazario, Ralph Vázquez-Concepción, Gabriel Melendez, José Gabriel Maldonado y Jaime Rodríguez.

Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías
Egofilia: narcisismo y bizarrerías

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