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Pedro Vélez: Emotional Hurricanes, Political Earthquakes, Quiet Protests, Neurotic Tweets

Liliana Bloch Gallery

The Liliana Bloch Gallery and 214 Projects are pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by Pedro Vélez: Emotional Hurricanes, Political Earthquakes, Quiet Protests, Neurotic Tweets. 

In this exhibition, Vélez examines: Do public confessionals of daily affirmations on Instagram heal a broken heart faster than affirming one’s self-worthiness in private therapy? Is journalism to blame for the neurotic emotional state of Americans? Which came first: the tweet or the policy?
Pedro Vélez's new body of work originates in simple, meaningful acts, like caressing the tangled hair of a loved one. These tangled lines can also be seen in a series of paintings depicting the twisted cords of non-responsive window blinds, the internet “tubes”, or the fallen cables from the electric infrastructure left after the destruction of Hurricane María. His disjointed lines lead us to vistas of coral reefs visible through the blinds. For Vélez, coral reefs serve as affirmative metaphors against climate change deniers as well as natural regenerative processes of emotional healing. In the series Emotional Backpatches, Vélez portrays anonymous protesters wearing nostalgic jean jackets scrawled with their innermost feelings embodied in back patches. Vélez's body of work encapsulates how intimacy is disrupted, occupied, and influenced by our digital selves, and the wild, uncontained landscape of political bots, social media alerts, relentless news cycles, disinformation campaigns, and emojis.

Vélez was featured in the historic survey Net Art Anthology: Retelling the History of Net Art from the 1980s Through the Present Day, curated by Michael Connor and Rhizome in New York. He has an upcoming solo exhibition at Liliana Bloch Gallery in Dallas in 2021, and Season Gallery in Seattle, Washington will present his work at Future Fair in New York in May. He has also been included in JUNTXS: Selections from the Hernández Catrodad Collection, curated by Dianne Brás Feliciano, at the Museum of Art and Design of Miramar in Puerto Rico opening in March 2020. 

Recent exhibitions and presentations include Affirmations: Social Media, Love and Healing in the Age of María (solo) at El Cuadrado Gris, SJU; Disaster Capitalism(performative lecture) at the PRSA 13th Biennial Conference at Rutgers University; Beyond the Canvas: Contemporary Art from Puerto Rico, curated by Monica Ramírez-Montagut and Warren James, at the Newcomb Museum in New Orleans; Human Human, curated by Jessica Cochran at Ralph Arnold, Loyola University in Chicago; Oppositions, The Luminary in St. Louis; Whitney Biennial 2014; #DrunkDictators (On The Wall installation) at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

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