THE KEY TO THE HIGHWAY:
Episode1, part 1, a brief, riled-up soliloquy about life in Puerto Rico.
Episode 1, part 2, a close-up look at one of the island’s most personable coffee roasting operations, Café Mayor, plus Rotund’s first roundup of art shows.
Episode 2, part 1, in which we review Pedro Vélez's "Godfuck," study an art sale posing as an exhibition, and get a haircut.
Episode 2, part 2: the haircut continues, there’s a regrettable moment with fruit, and we drop by the fresh San Juan art-o-rama =DESTO for a talk with the founders.
Episode 3, part 1 covers, if not the waterfront, at least that occasional Nuyorican-Borinquen artfest “The (S) Files” at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and visits scenic Caguas to marvel at another new kid on the block, ÁREA.
Episode 3, part 2 takes a wild ride on the Tren Urbano.
Episode 4, part 1 gets the unexpected: some mail. In part 2, we hit the road for points south, with stops at the Frade Museum, El Cuñao, King’s Cream, and Museo de la Historia de Ponce.
Episode 5, part 1 weighs Puerto Rico’s travails against Miami’s prosperity and scratches its head. Why does Fred Snitzer say the things he says?
Episode 5, part 2: more art shows and the artists who make them, including the evergreen Antonio Martorell and a stealthy group called El Polverío.
Episode 6, part 1 and part 2 offer blow-by-blow coverage of Puerto Rico’s first-ever art fair, CIRCA 2006, and the whole world asks, “What’s it all about, Rotund?”
Episode 7 takes the slow train to Hato Rey and Galerías Prindari, where it meets the friendly natives.
Episode 8 knocks on the door of the Berezdivin collection, hoping to get in, and then muses disapprovingly about el Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.
Episode 9, part 1 wallows in the paradoxes of summer in Puerto Rico, including a curious exhibition at la Escuela de Artes Plásticas, while part 2 looks at the work of painter-writer Javier Martínez.
Episode 10: the excellent exhibition space tagRom has a birthday and the laggardly Rotund crew tries to catch up on San Juan art doings, while Tiny Type travels southward to watch Rafael Trelles do his thing at el Museo de Arte de Ponce.
Episode 11: “Two Cards from the Bottom of the Deck?” This could only mean Pedro Vélez.
Episode 12 invites all and sundry to get down with La Muestra Nacional de Arte. Plus, =Desto hits its stride and doesn’t look back.
Episode 13: is La Muestra Nacional the only thing on the Rotund mind? What about sex? Rapacious legislators? What happened to lechón, pasteles, and Heineken tall boys?
Episode 14 brings us yet more Muestra, but also, what? Yes, Pedro Vélez, now in his new role as Rotund art dick. Plus, new shows at San Juan’s La Liga de Arte and Crema Gallery.
Episode 15 proves that the island is cooking: The International Book Fair, experimental prints at =Desto, Milton Rosa-Ortiz at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. The Basquiat drawing show is not terrible, but what is a private collection doing at MAPR?
Episode 16: the government is pilloried, artists are praised, food is mentioned, jokes are cracked that no one gets.
Episode 17 visits Art Basels past. This may strike some readers as cheap and retrograde, but we think the vintage years never get old. Besides, we also look at a Julie Kahn trading-card project, and what could be groovier than that?
Not to be missed, of course: Booty Bundt, the cake that says it all, and BUY THIS NOW! an exclusive offer to be a part of this toney enterprize.
Follow the links to the Miami and Puerto Rican art worlds, and to perspectives bigger than both.
The Next Few Hours
Miami Art Central
Centro Cultural Español
Brook Dorsch Gallery
Kevin Bruk Gallery
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Leonard Tachmes Gallery
Miami Art Exchange
The Moore Space
Museo de la Historia de Ponce
Museo Pío López Martínez
(The Frade Museum)
Museo de Arte de Ponce
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Museo de la UPR
Los Balcones de San Juan
La Casa del Arte
Programa de Artes Plástics del ICP
CIRCA Puerto Rico
M de Mater O’Neill Audio Archive
Art Nexus Magazine
Tom Moody's Weblog
Rotund World covers Miami, la Isla, and the world.
The magazine is designed and written by Joel Weinstein, in collaboration with unnamed others. The commentary, inspired by real events, is of a satirical nature and is not to be believed.
Photos, unless otherwise credited, are by none other than J Weinstein.
You can contact Rotund World at this address or, if you prefer, our other one.
for old news told the Rotund way.
The Three Kings Are Back!
No matter what you’ve heard, there’s apparently no stopping them. But is that really a bad thing? We caught Gaspar, Baltazar, and old whatshisname at Museo de Arte de Ponce just as they arrived in their special vehicle, a kind of low-rent Pope-Mobile. Further details to come.
Barcelona is Hopping
There’s the Barcelona we all know and love, the city of El Barrio Gótico, the funicular, La Rambla, and Gaudí’s ever-unfinished, monumental fantasia, La Sagrada Familia. But who says an ancient city can’t be cool?
The rasty guy above caught our attention because just as we were leaving for our Iberian getaway, our favorite milksop, El Nuevo Día, published an apparently audienceless round- table on the graffiti phenomenon and the hand-wringing that surrounds it in Puerto Rico. We won’t say the discussion was all senseless twaddle—there was an actual graffiti maker in attendance, and whenever Rafi Trelles has something to say, you ought to pay attention —but be sure to visit the next Rotund update to read just how bad we think it was.
Art, Poetry . . . Lordy, What’s Next?
Plenty happened in our absence, and we fervently hope some of what we’re writing about is not as cold as day-before-yesterday’s mofongo. Fer instance . . .
The two bohemian characters above are works by Nick Quijano who had—and hopefully still has—an ample exhibition of paintings and amazingly creaturely sculptures at Viejo San Juan’s Galería Alegría. We advise you to waste no time and call 787-723-3206 to see if these marvels are still on view.
Is it really possible that there are artists living in San Juan who have never visited the Berezdivin collection’s exhibition space, Espacio 1414? So the sad truth seems to be. At a party not long ago, our aggressive pollsters found out that two out of two respondents, hard-working young artists both of them, have never taken the time to see curator Julieta González’s always-thoughtful installations from the collection. She’s titled her latest show Globalización, and while it’s not exactly a fresh idea, the curator has very good works to choose from and an intelligent—at times very droll—way of putting things together. There is always plenty of readable text for guidance, although as the above image suggests—a detail from Mark Lombardi’s astonishing pencil and crayon schematic of world-wide money laundering, World Finance Corporation Miami—the works themselves usually speak volumes. We’ll have more to show you, but meanwhile you can pay the warehouse a visit and see for yourself. Call Ms. González for an appointment: 787-725-3899.
Galería 356 may be damned hard to park in front of, but it is increasingly worth the walk from the surrounding residential streets. The gallery’s present exhibition—Emergencias, convergencias y divergencias—is, indeed, quite the amalgam of artistic styles, media, career standings, and so forth. But it is not the worse for so much hugger-mugger! On the contrary, it appears to hold largely new works by artists who are doing their things with vigor and a sense of expectancy. Carmelo Fontanez has returned to his pencil boxes, though along with the usual whittled No. 2s and graphite dust, he’s gotten deeply into color, as shown in the detail above. The show has some of our favorite artists on the San Juan scene, including Christopher Rivera, Elsa María Meléndez, and Edgard Rodríguez Luiggi. It closes at the end of January, and you can call 787-282-7820 for hours and details on how to get to the gallery. We’ll have other images to show you when we return.
La Muestra Nacional continues until the first week of February, and there is a dynamite exhibition of santos at Museo de Arte de Ponce, neither of which we're allowed to mention in bold type for the obvious reasons. No doubt there is plenty we haven’t seen since we got back from las afueras, although by the time you return to this space it should all be clear to us. Hah. You, dear reader, could be helpful in that regard. Let us know what you know at this address or this one.
One or two last words in our more windy than expected preview. Área, the Caguas redoubt of discussions, exhibitions, films, and all things high-tone—brainchild of artist Quintín Rivera—has had its ups and downs, not so much for its programming as in terms of those who are willing to travel the distance to get there. Or not. In lean times and fat, Rivera has never lost his enthusiasm for his project or his incredible energy. His one-year anniversary party was one for the books, and we were delighted to be there. It now seems that the space-master has come up with a way to maintain Área’s momentum without wearing its main cog—Rivera himself—to a toothless frazzle, and this is to invite guest “curators” and masters-of-ceremony.
If the poetry reading of a few nights ago is any indication, this is a winning strategy. San Juan’s Nelson Rivera—need we say “no relation”?—is in charge of the discussion side of the programming for the month of January, and he asked four area poets to present recent works and talk about the bedraggled state of poetry in the modern world. Rey Andujar (pictured above), Irizelma Robles, the one-named Gallego, and Juanmanuel González Ríos gave a highly informal but hugely satisfying round-robin reading in a variety of styles, all of them better than you’d expect. Perhaps the decent state of poetry among young Caribbean writers owes itself to an awareness of and respect for the traditions of their craft. As the after-reading discussion pointedly maintained, it unlikely has anything to do with formal training. Whatever the reason, this particular evening in Caguas lived up to everything the much ballyhooed phenomenon of alternative spaces has been promising. More on this touchy subject upcoming.
The Área schedule presently features a Monday film series and a Tuesday discussion, performance, or what’s-in-the-box. Additionally there are special events, such as the screening this month of Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, with a discussion afterwards. Events usually kick off at 7:30 p.m. You can get the whole story, including an easy-to-read map to far-off Caguas, by calling 787-402-9271 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Don't Know Who these Folks Are . . .
. . . but their sense of humor is definitely intact. Trip on over to Plaza las Américas this weekend, and tell them those Rotund brainiacs sent you.
This pretty much exhausts our announcements, and it may well have worn out our welcome. We hope not! Come back and see what we’re up to, but not too soon. We’re not sure ourselves. Meantime, you can amuse yourself by going into the archives, if you haven’t spent the last several weeks nervously poking about while you waited for us to return. Just click on the magic blue word below.
Go back with us now.