Native Icon/biography; The art of Priscilla Anacakuyani & Daniel de Jesús
Opening Reception April 6, 2018 6pm - 9pm
Higher Grounds Café
631 N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Native Icon/Biography is an exhibition of works by artists Priscilla Anakacuyani Bell and Daniel de Jesús. Both
artists are of Puerto Rican Heritage and from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia PA. Anakacuyani and de Jesús both work with the figure as icon or symbol that often explores identity that stems from their Latinx Heritage.
Anakacuyani’s work dives into the world of Taino traditions. She often tries to visually personify the connection she has with her Taíno Heritage and through symbolism and mysticism of the Taino peoples who inhabited the Caribbean. She visually communicates an understanding of ancient rituals and a devotion to ancestors within the genre of portraiture.
de Jesús’ work explores religious iconography that is inspired by Puerto Rico's colonial era. Such iconography that inspires de Jesús’ work comes from Puerto Rico's Espada workshop, which produced small brightly colored religious statuary (Santos). The art of Puerto Rican painter José Campeche and his Rococo styled religious paintings with fine handwork and brightly colored Madonna's has also provided much inspiration for the artist's style and subject.
Both artists are also acrylic painters, masters in their own right in a medium still quite modern in the world of paints. Acrylic as a paint medium has its roots in the mural art of Latin America, but here, it is used in a jewel-like fashion, utilizing an application more like an oil painter and taking advantage of the medium's ability to build light and expose the underpainting to full effect.