As a self-taught Puerto Rican Artist, social, political, and spiritual issues are of great importance to my work. In 1975, I emerged on canvas with my graffiti name –DO IT – and became a member of the Nation of Graffiti Artists (N.O.G.A.) combined in spray paint with collage and construction. My work continued in many forms, including: found object, mixed media, construction, collage, acrylic, watercolors and mixed media installations. I curated many alternative gallery spaces for 15 years, including the Food Stamp Gallery – two large windows in a Cashier Store in East Harlem, where I showed works by a variety of artists and community groups dealing with issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, gentrification, AIDS, police brutality, to name a few. I also curated Galleria Boricua – 12 showcase windows in the lobby of Boricua College in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
I have exhibited my work at a variety of venues including: Charas/ El Bohio, Bronx Museum and Satellite Gallery, 10 on 8 windows on 54th Street, ABC NO RIO, Life Café, Keane Mason Gallery, Association Gallery, Williamsburg Outdoor Museum Show, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, NYC Art Parade, Emerging Collector Gallery, Art Resistance Show and Community CopyArt in London, International Mail Art Show/ Germany and Bluestocking Bookstore to name a few.
Art is my lifeline, my connection to people and the world. It is the way I communicate. It has given me a voice. Without my art, I would be very isolated. From 1999-2004, I was unable to create art due to a severe mental breakdown, where my schizophrenia and drug addiction landed me in the hospital. In the last few years, I have resumed what has always been key to my life. Art is how I deal with my mental illness. I can put my demons on paper or canvas. I can use humor to settle my anxiety. Art plays a major role in enabling me to live with my disability- to have an outlet for the confusion and the revelations. I’m sure that my mental disability has shaped my artistic process in that I have so many emotions in my mind and heart and they can take visual form and thereby be released. It is like a curse that can, through art, become a blessing, if I allow the creative process to flow. What has helped me is my involvement with Hospital Audiences (H.A.I.) Art Studio, which is a place for artists dealing with mental illness to go and create their work. It has enabled me to develop a whole new body of work. Much of my present work is collage, watercolor, and mixed media dealing with political as well as spiritual issues, and bringing in some playfulness and humor. I look forward to creating and sharing my art in all sorts of forms and venues.