MAY 5, – JULY 29, 2023
Born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a native Nuyorican living on Rivington Street between Norfolk and Suffolk streets—in a culturally diverse tenement building in the 60s. Occupied by musicians, dancers, seamstresses, bakers, and painters, with varied backgrounds, tenants interacted like family with no preconception of race, color, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. My interaction with this family stimulated my artistic curiosity and my intuition for art.
Marcos Dimas 1975
Lolita / 1971 Silkscreen by Marcos Dimas
A Historic 1969 Short 16mm Film About the Founding of Taller Boricua
Albizo / 1972 Silkscreen by Marcos Dimas
Taller Boricua 6'x 3' Linoleum Print
Top Row: Ralph Salicrup, Fernando Salicrup. Jorge Soto,
Papo Colo Mid Row: Manny Vega, Nestor Otero,
Gloria Rodriguez, Marcos Dimas, Lower Row: Jose Rodriguez
READ ABOUT TALLER BORICUA at WHITEBOX
Taller Boricua emerged in East Harlem within the cultural landscape of New York City in 1969, alongside the artistic effervescence that took place Downtown, particularly in SoHo, Tribeca, and the Lower East Side. Their objective was to activate, through art, processes of social resistance in frequently neglected, underserved communities. From their inception, they have been part of the Nuyorican movement that originated in the late 1960s in neighborhoods like Loisaida, Williamsburg, and East Harlem aka El Barrio; visual artists, writers, especially poets, and musicians converged in El Taller (The Workshop), where prints, Spoken Word and Salsa developed within the environment of Latin American culture, today deeply rooted in New York.
El Taller Boricua (The Boricua Puerto Rican Workshop), From the Art Workers Coalition to the Present, is the first exhibition in the “New York Artscapes” series in which WhiteBox is creating a platform to welcome and make visible cultural processes that have fundamentally constituted the cultural landscape of this city but dwell outside the hegemonic discourse due to race, gender, and/or social class. The show presents a panoramic view of the 50-year history of the Workshop, which reveals the volume and complexity of their artistic production directly linked to the social and historical problems of their community. It is an ongoing archival exhibition because it is understandable that after 50 years of uninterrupted work, their work methodologies have been transformed along with their own life stories. Thus, our pondering over New York City’s storied past is quite different now than in 1969.
In New York, the 1970s were characterized by the growing activism within the artistic movement; in May 1970, those the artists demonstrated in the commonly known “Art Strike” against racism, sexism, repression, and the Vietnam War. Likewise, artists based in the city began questioning the essence of art, transforming how contemporary art was created and exhibited, seeking to push the limits of the white cube. For its part, Taller Boricua has worked from what is known today as “insurgent aesthetics.”, where their artistic practices are defined as collective, relational, and situated; therefore, they are an expansive form of manifestation against extant forms of domination. Their trajectory reveals their resistance to racial and social class violence exerted on the non-white population, especially upon the Puerto Rican population in New York City.
The Workshop was founded by the artists Marcos Dimas, Adrián García, Manuel Otero, Armando Soto, and Martín Rubio, who in parallel were linked to the AWC movement (The Art Workers Coalition), where (among various statements) museums were required to become more open and less exclusive regarding exhibition policy regarding when working with the artists they exhibited and promoted. One year after the founding of Toleration, the community of Latin American visual artists, writers, and musicians, especially Puerto Ricans, had expanded: Nitza Tufiño, Ada Soto, Carlos Osorio, Olga Alemán, Rafael Tufiño, Dylcia Pagan, Edwin Pitre, Julius Perri, Juan Gonzales, Bobby Ortiz, Jimmy Jiménez, Abdías Gonzales, Sammy Tanco y Vitin Linares, among others. Early on, they had the vision of developing programs that revolved around the reclaiming of Puerto Rican roots, including the rescue of the Taino past and processes of social and educational resistance in schools and public spaces in East Harlem, direct links with the socio-political activist group The Young Lords, support for families of young people killed by the police and dissemination of Nuyorican cultural production.
Realidades was the first national Latino television series in public television history in the United States of America.
The groundbreaking television series highlighted various events, activities, organizations, and individuals, significantly illustrating and defining our ”Realities” during the 1960s and 70s
Taller Boricua Gallery
1680 Lexington Ave.
New York, NewYork, 10029
RT Printmakers Studio
Visits by Appointment 121 East 106 Street
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Taller Boricua Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
William Cruz Colon
Hiram Vidal, Esq.
All programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, UMEZ Cultural Aid Fund, the NYC Council Deputy Speaker, Hon. Diana Ayala and the Puerto Rican Workshop Inc..