MAY 22- AUGUST 20, 2014

Walter Otero Contemporary Art presents CARLOS ROLÓN (Dzine), first solo exhibition of new works, on view May 22- August 20, 2014 at San Juan, Puerto Rico. 


Born in Chicago Illinois, 1970 from Puerto Rican parents, Carlos Rolón, was raised in one of the few Puerto Rican families in the southwest side of Chicago. He briefly studied painting and drawing at Columbia College in Chicago, and then continued to expand his expertise as the Kraus Visiting Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.



The artist, who currently lives and works in Chicago, developed his strong relationship to Puerto Rico as he traveled back and forth from Puerto Rico to the United States during his childhood. Throughout his life, the artist bore witness to the ways in which households adapted to new American lifestyles and the issue of double identity (Puerto Rican - Anglo-Saxon) and the stereotypes that came with it. This deep engagement is constantly present in his work.


Over the past several years, Rolón has been recognized for his elaborately crafted paintings, ornate sculptures and works based on Kustom Kulture. Situated between conspicuous consumption and urban identity, it is at once melancholic, expressive and exuberant.



The show at Walter Otero Contemporary Art (WOCA) presents a series of mirror paintings with resin, quartz crystals and crystal.



Mirrors are frequently found inside modest, cinderblock and corrugated metal Puerto Rican households, giving the illusion of larger and grander living spaces. The ornate patterns of Rolón’s mirrors reference the designs of gates, windows, and security fences around the island, emphasizing the relationship between decoration and protection in the home. Considering elevated relationships to objects through the lens of mirage and escapism, Rolón also situates the relationships of private/public, interior/exterior within these surfaces, where they exist like a fence or a window in between the two, defining both. There is the additional personalized property of the glass—that within these paintings there is always individualized image and the “selfie.” Large scale, obsessively detailed, and neo-baroque, the mirror paintings expand on ideas of self-reflection and imagined luxury.



Rolon is recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (1995) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation award for Painting and Sculpture (2006) and published the books; Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine (2012) and The Beautiful Struggle (2011).



Dzine has exhibited his work widely since his first show in 2002 at the MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His work is included in the public collections as the Bass Museum of Art, Miami; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; City of Chicago Public Art Collection, Illinois; Museo del Barrio, New York; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; and the Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev. As well, exhibited in The Busan Biennale, Korea; the Ukrainian Pavilion, 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Italy. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, Art News, Art Nexus, Art in America, Art Info, among others. 



Gallery Hours


By Appointment Only



402 Ave. Constitución

San Juan, P.R. 00906


[p] 787.998.9622  |  787.627.5797




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