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Installation view: Edra Soto presented by Morgan Lehman Gallery
The hanging textile “Tropicalamerica 21” was inspired by the all-black Puerto Rican flag introduced in 2016 as a symbol of independence and resistance. This piece incorporates 78 stars, one for each Puerto Rican “municipio”. Soto’s window vinyl artwork grafts Puerto Rican vernacular architecture motifs onto the existing historic New England architecture, making the artist’s intervention visible from the building’s exterior. On the wall is an example of Soto’s new digital print suite of 20 conceptual drawings inspired by Puerto Rico’s built environment that consider the idiosyncratic designs of lower- and middle-class homes, redeploying those elements into graphic, 2-dimensional schematics. An Iris Chacon LP provides the soundtrack to the installation, with interpretations of salsa, mambo, and bolero. The music is both joyful and melancholy, celebrating the richness of Puerto Rican life and culture. Soto’s work is concurrently on view at El Museo del Barrio and the Abrons Arts Center.

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