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Malas Impresiones

By Rafael Díaz

The first of day of August, the art collective “Basta” presented the group show exhibition “Malas Impresiones” (Bad Impressions) in Río Piedras’ gallery Guatíbiri. Its concept was to build a social critique using graphic art through artists like Roberto (Yiyo) Tirado, Javier Moreno, Javier Orfón, Uziel Orlandi, Leila Mattina, Jerome Zayas, Genaro Ramos and Christopher Morales. 

The art pieces’ format was small, although in some cases this worked in it’s favor, as it was not an impediment to shock the spectators, who, incidentally, had bought several of the exhibits in the first two hours after opening.

Among the 19 presented art pieces there were well-crafted nuances that stood out, like the usage of thread in their work with very good results. These pieces were an accent between black and white that illustrates the middle of the graph, as well as the gallery’s vastness of white and small rooms. These pieces were, without a doubt, very well crafted.

On the other hand, Roberto (Yiyo) Tirado is one of the artists that use constructive social criticism in his works of art. This time he had several pieces, which sold very quickly after the exhibition opened its doors to the public. This art enthusiast and social critic have had enough pieces with strong and direct speech to the audience always reaching his aficionados with the desired firmness. His political satire to the culture of consumerism is a delight to fans of this kind of artistic discourse. In his piece entitled “El Resuelve” Yiyo brought a drug culture related issue. The piece tell us about one of the most talked about myths in the world of drugs: using the Bible’s sheets to roll marijuana. This work has a number of readings that could be branded as the worst among some sectors of society. However, looking at the body of work that Yiyo has introduced, we notice how his series was presented as a cultural criticism regarding the incident occurred in the Santurce area on July 23, 2013, in which a individual vandalized several murals with religious messages.

Meanwhile another character on the expo was  “Basta” who presented a piece entitled “Uno sobre todos” (One for all) which delighted the public. It should be added that participation from other artists was quite evident in most of the sold pieces. The greater expectation the “Basta’ artists had was to recover the social comment that was almost absent in our local art scene. I must add that in order to create a bigger impact the pieces they needed to be larger, to thereby ensure the “click” which generates social criticism. Congratulations guys, keep rescuing the local art that has been so crucial in our art history.