i see you with my eyes closed07 September–27 October, 2018
La gente e' gente aunque
Te muerta o te viva
Y por donde pasan van dejando una resina
Y dentro de ese ámbar queda depositado
Todo lo atardecere y to' lo trago
Detrá’ de la puerta te van a salí / tu sabe' que si / tu sabe' que si / con sus ojo' de remolino / y su vetido de telaraña.
- Rita Indiana Hernandez
Charles Moffett is pleased to present i see you with my eyes closed, a solo exhibition of recent works by the New York-based artist Kenny Rivero. In his first exhibition at the gallery Rivero has staged a series of works that present cultural complexities through the lens of Afro-Caribbean New Yorkness. By mastering representation with the conspicuous absence of the human body, Rivero creates a perspective where the metaphysical and real world collide. Utilizing urban landscapes in extreme and obscure circumstances, he blends soft sidewalks in contrasting grey-scaled tones and wild urban flora with disembodied forms.
Born and raised in Washington Heights, Rivero was brought up by parents who felt the aftermath of the Young Lords and La Fania’s glorious era in their bones; part of a generation that lived under a dictatorship, which lasted over 3 decades. Channeling this rich history, Rivero brings to the exhibition space a window into his intimate imaginarium. Translating scenes from his daily life into collective experiences in pieces such as Conjure Meeting and Ancestors, Rivero beckons his audience into the evocative unknown in order to demystify the stigmas of his practice, giving stretched canvases and paper, once flat white spaces, the opportunity to speak through the process of mark making.
With paintings such as Hibiscus, the artist depicts the figure exploring his own body in front of a female form reclining on her side, raising questions around the Dominican American spectrum of masculinity. Symbolically the hibiscushas been explored in the past by Latinx authors such as Junot Diazand Federico Garcia Lorca. Through his artwork Rivero translates these descriptive sensations into paintings and drawings, placing sensual brush strokes, as soft uninterrupted whispers and breathtaking, highly tactile fire forms.
Kenny Rivero earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2006 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2012. Rivero has been a guest lecturer at El Museo del Barrio, Bennington College, Middlebury College, Williams College, and the School of Visual Arts. He is the recipient of a Doonesbury Award, Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Travel Grant, Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and has been awarded a Visiting Scholar position at New York University.Recent projects and exhibitions include those at Pera Museum, Turkey; Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands; The Contemporary Art Museum St Louis; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; and the Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington. Residencies include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, the Roswell Artist in Residence Program, The Fountainhead Residency, The Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, and The Macedonia Institute (forthcoming). Rivero is a teaching Artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Lecturer at the Yale School of Art.