This print titled Confused Paradise is about Puerto Rico and its people struggling to maintain and save what has survived of their culture, history, and roots under 100 years of North American control. Mickey Mouse, the upside-down palm tree, the Taino swirl's (swirl-looking flowers in print), and the children dressed in stereotypical Indian costumes reflect the affirmation and confusion of the Puerto Rican reality with humor and irony. The quote "I can't return to my country, it has become just cement and maracas." On the bottom part of the composition expresses a sense of loss and disorientation. But the children also reflect a sense of love and hope for a positive future. Their sense of national pride is evident in the photograph.
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.
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