Art Exhibition: Quique Rivera’s “Menuda Urbe”

Tonight, May 26, 2011, is the opening for Quique Rivera’s “Menuda Urbe” [Small City]. It will take place from 7:00 to 10:00pm at the Guatíbiri Gallery in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. The exhibition is free and open to the public until June 8.  The pieces are for sale to raise funds for the artist’s forthcoming graduate studies in experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

In “Menuda Urbe,” visual artist and filmmaker José “Quique” Rivera will present a series of photographs and fibers mounted on acrylic plates. The series is inspired by his Menuda Urbe animation, which will be part of the exhibition. The common thread among the twelve works is the image of the chango [a type of black bird ubiquitous in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean at large: Greater Antillean Grackle (Quiscalus niger)] which, according to the artist, “because of its prevalence and cleverness, it could very well be the national bird, a symbol of the hardworking Puerto Rican who tries to survive day to day faced by the unusual events of this small city built at the whim of business interests.” 

The Menuda Urbe video participated this March as the official selection at the International Festival of Animated Objects 2011 in Calgary, Canada, and in April was part of NewFilmmakers LA, a platform dedicated to presenting (monthly) works by new global directors out at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. 

This is Rivera’s second solo exhibition, following the multimedia series “Fábulas de la selección artificial” [Fables of Artificial Selection] which was presented at the Francisco Oller Gallery of the University of Puerto Rico. In addition, he directed the short film Encierro [Confinement], made in collaboration with the theatrical group “Y No Había Luz;” it was the first animation piece from Puerto Rico to compete at the international level, as part of the Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes (Cinefiesta 2008). 

Rivera holds a double bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communication and Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico, with specialties in film and sculpture. 

Image: Rivera’s “Ideal compartido” [Shared Ideal]

For full article (in Spanish), see

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