Jenkins Johnson Projects, New York, is pleased to present De Lo Mío, a group exhibition curated by artist Tiffany Alfonseca, featuring works by Bianca Nemelc, Joiri Minaya, Monica Hernandez, Uzumaki Cepeda, and Veronica Fernandez. De Lo Mío brings together a focused selection of works by an emerging group of women artists with varying relationships to their Dominican heritage. Originating from Alfonseca’s ongoing interest in her generation’s evolving connections to a motherland, De Lo Mío envisions identity not as a definable set of associations but rather as a spectrum through which multiple personal and collective pasts as well as lived experiences come to forge how people exist.
Leading up to the exhibition, Jenkins Johnson Projects will host a number of events including Instagram Takeovers from the artists January 9, 13, 19, 29, February 8, and 12 (see below for a full lineup) and two Conversations on Culture featuring César García-Alvarez in dialogue with Alfonseca and other artists included in the show via ZOOM on Friday, January 22 and Friday, February 12, 3pm ET/12pm PT, respectively: RSVP: http://bit.ly/DeLoMío
The artists included in this exhibition assemble a constellation of positions—each sited at differing distances from a shared culture—that challenge the notion that geography alone bonds people. Instead, each artist puts forth a unique perspective that push back against a history of art that thirsts for cohesive but oversimplified narratives. Intended to be a spirited dialogue between the work of artists who don’t see the world the same, rather than as a friendly sharing of common opinions, De Lo Mío is an introduction to a host of future projects Alfonseca is developing with the intention to expand art histories of the Caribbean.
While each artist brings their own voice to the exhibition, their work does intersect, at times, along some difficult but necessary questions—like how does one pay tribute to Dominican visual culture without reinforcing stereotypes forged by institutions and popular culture? or how do we remain connected to our roots beyond immediate generations? or how do AfroLatinx lives find solidarity with African-American ones while not dismissing the meaningful specificities of their Latinidad? De Lo Mío will not pretend to provide answers to these questions but hopes to ignite a much belated public conversations about these issues.
Tiffany Alfonseca (b. 1994) is a Bronx- based Dominican-American mixed media artist who creates vibrant and colorful artworks that celebrates Black and Afro-Latinx diasporic culture. Alfonseca continuously taps into her Afro-Dominican roots and leverages it as a conceptual cantilever that provides a dynamic framework for her artistic practice. Moreover, her work aims to visually articulate that the Black and Afro-Latinx diaspora does not exist within a monolith, but that these communities are a cultural cornucopia that is vast, varied, and complex. Alfonseca’s artwork is an intricate combination of beauty, diversity, and multilingualism that exemplifies the strength of the Black and Afro-Latinx diaspora.
Through immersion and rumination, Alfonseca utilizes these experiences as reference material within her work as she toils to construct new narratives and build a universe that is reflective of her upbringing as a Dominican-American woman in the Bronx. These narratives harken towards dialogue about womanhood, colorism, class, family, ritual, and memory; all of which are building blocks in her creation of an ontological framework that is responsive to how she sees and experiences the world. Alfonseca has been included in such publications as Harper’s BAZAAR, Juxtapoz Magazine, and Artsy. Her work is included in collections such as The Dean Collection and the Perez Art Museum Miami. She received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts.
Bianca Nemelc (b. 1991) is a figurative painter whose work explores the connection between the female form and the natural world. Born and raised in New York City, Bianca’s work is inspired by her own investigative journey into her identity, paying homage to her heritage through the use of many hues of brown that make up the figures in her work. The worlds within her paintings are loosely inspired by the tropical and Caribbean landscapes where her families are originally from and her roots can be traced back to. Through her work, Bianca aims to highlight the beautiful and symbiotic relationship between nature and the female body. Nemelc has been in several group exhibition in NY, SF and London. She recently presented works at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in 2019.
Joiri Minaya (b. 1990) is a Dominican-United Statesian, NY based multi-disciplinary artist. She investigates stereotypes around Dominican womanhood in an attempt to understand where these constructions originated from and how they circulate. Often the stereotypes she finds are related to exoticism and expectations of entertainment. For this exhibition, Minaya contrinbutes her collage works, mixing fragmented bodies found from google searches of the phrase ‘Domanican Woman’. Minaya has exhibited across the Caribbean, the U.S. and internationally. She has recently received a NY Artadia award and BRIC’s Colene Brown Art Prize, and has received grants from foundations like Nancy Graves, Rema Hort Mann, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She been awarded in two Dominican biennials (XXV Concurso León Jimenes; XXVII National Biennial) and has participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Smack Mellon, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Red Bull House of Art, LES Printshop, Socrates Sculpture Park, Art Omi and Vermont Studio Center. Minaya attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Visuales (DR), the Chavón School of Design, and received her BFA from Parsons the New School for Design.
Monica Hernandez (b. 1995) is a Bronx-based artist born in the Dominican Republic. Her paintings are imagined scenes that draw from a well of tucked away experiences ranging from religious guilt, to body anxiety, to realizing the first time the voice in your head could be switched from Spanish to English. She explores the body, desire, sexuality, identity, and representation. Hernandez has been including in publication such as Cultured Mag and Artforum. She has been is several group shows including at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. She received her BFA from Hunter Collage.
Uzumaki Cepeda (b. 1995) textile tableau acts as a safe space for black and brown people all over the world. While addressing the stigmas of homophobia, transphobia, racism, and colorism that often affect queer people and women who feel unprotected by our current American policies and way of life. Her practice consists of transforming every day often found objects with brightly-colored faux fur to create interactive installations informed by traditional iconography of domestic spaces. Using her dream-like and vibrant work drawn from her childhood imagination growing up both on the islands of the Dominican Republic and in the Bronx. Bringing two worlds together. Uzumaki’s interactive installations have been shown from Los Angeles, California, to Montreal, Canada, and all the way overseas to Tokyo, Japan. She has been featured in print and digital publications including Forbes, Teen Vogue, Paper Magazine, Nylon Magazine, i-D, HypeBAE, L.A. Weekly, and The Fader.
Veronica Fernandez (b. 1998) is a mixed media artist that discusses relationships between people and their environments. Frequently using personal memorabilia and experiences as a canon for her pieces, she explores the various ways we perceive our ever-fluctuating memories over time and the atmospheres around us. Using colorful, varying sized canvases full of an eclectic array of textures, paint is used as an expressive vehicle to highlight themes of disconnection, impermanence, and reconstruction, meanwhile putting a focus on the alternate realities we enter when reflecting on our past and present. In these pieces, she uses techniques of fragmentation, and abstraction of space to form narratives about individuals and how the factors of their environment influence them, meanwhile discussing the indefinite roles we can take on in the world at any moment. Fernandez has shown nationally and internationally. She received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts.