Taymour Grahne Gallery is pleased to present Current Times, Savage Times, a solo exhibition of new works by Puerto Rican artist Radames “Juni” Figueroa. This presentation comes a year after Figueroa’s participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and solo exhibition at New York’s SculptureCenter. Pairing his familiar Tropical Readymades, with two new series of works: Street Studios and a grouping of hand-written signs, Figueroa ‘tropicalizes’ the gallery’s lower-level project space, reflecting on New York’s urban cityscape while calling attention to the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico.
Figueroa, a native of San Juan, characterizes his practice by creating environments that transmit the experience of living in his hometown. Originally trained as a painter, in 2008 Figueroa’s practice began travelling outside of the studio, where he constructed tropical atmospheres in numerous international spaces, most often assembling drawing, painting, sculpture, and various forms of botanical life in site-specific installations.
In this most recent hybridization of tropical forest meets cityscape, Figueroa indulges in critical humor and highlights the stereotypes that his objects evoke, subverting the traditional notions of the gallery space. Affixed to the gallery’s walls are Figueroa’s Tropical Readymades, a series of cutout and deflated basketballs and soccer balls, repurposed with their botanical partners and situated next to their comparable drawings. Furthering Figueroa’s urban approach, Current Times, Savage Times, underlines the economic crisis in Puerto Rico through a new string of cardboard “readymade” signs, introducing written remarks and cartoons that reflect on Puerto Rico’s urban environments and its surrounding forests.
Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1982, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa obtained his BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas in 2007 and completed his Programa La Practica, Beta Local in San Juan Puerto Rico in 2003. In addition to his work as an artist, he has given talks at various institutions and art fairs, such as NADA in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago, and has acted as co-curator of the First Tropical Biennial that took place in San Juan in 2011, alongside curator Pablo Leon de la Barra. Most recently he has participated in the Whitney Biennial (2014) and his residency at the Malba Museum and La Ene in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which culminated in his site-specific installation being permanently acquired by the museum. He has held several solo exhibitions including a 2014 show at the Sculpture Center titled Naguabo Rainbow, Daguao Enchumbao, Fango Fireflies.