Puerto Rican Prisoner of War evokes the weight of alienation, apartheid, racism, and sexism under colonialism. Even when there are beautiful flower patterns and floating spirals representing infinity and life the tension exists especially with the heart representing the center of life and the photo of a bare-chested woman, who looks like she is about to be shot by a firing squad, with a Puerto Rican flag covering her identity. The fragile position of her situation represents and symbolizes the many Puerto Rican men and women who are presently in United States prisons for their involvement in the Puerto Rican Independence movement. The photograph and the heart, a vulnerability regardless of the pretty surrounding which is in constant movement. Identity also plays into this art as an element that can, at times, suffocate when under colonial domination and negative prejudice and manipulation.
As much as the "postmodernist" Sanchez Takes on the issue of representation by confronting the stereotypes of urban Hispanic people. He offers a different kind of mirror from that presented in the mass media, a mirror in which people can see themselves as they really are, comfortable in their own context, rather than forced into foreign molds. His Pieces advocate Puerto Rican independence and take a stand against North American Policies while referencing many sources and memories combining lush, painted surfaces, drawn elements of petroglyph-like-forms, collaged portions (including photographs, photocopies, and letter transfers.) Through documentation, symbolism, and language, Sanchez mingles series of information, both formally and conceptually.
Professor of art at Hunter College, Juan Sanchez is a New York city-based artist of Puerto Rican descent. Sanchez is best known as a Nuyorican artist whose work combines photography and mixed media painting and painting techniques, incorporating text and iconographic images of the Taino, African, in Spanish traditions in Puerto Rico. Sanchez frequently points to Puerto Rico's Liberation and Independence struggles and obstacles facing Puerto Ricans living in America. by assembling disparate elements – the heart as organ and emblem, a dried bouquet of flowers, the Puerto Rican flag that obscures the face of a woman – into a fragmented composition Sanchez reveals the complex layers that form an individual's identity. steeped in concerns specific to the artist cultural heritage, a Puerto Rican prisoner is also invested in art history, combining the strategies of assemblage so important in the 1950s and the 1960s with appropriation techniques that came to define the art of the 1980s.
Juan Sánchez was born to Puerto Rican and African American parents and is a photographer, painter, printmaker, and mixed media artist. He earned his BFA from the Cooper Union in New York and an MFA from Rutgers University in New Jersey. His work c...Read More ⟶