Altos de Chavon

Heridas Abiertas: A Look at Race through Art and its Effect on Dominicans

"Heridas Abiertas" Paolat de la Cruz

This post is also available in: Spanish

Last Saturday October 1st, Paolat de la Cruz brought her new exhibition, “Heridas Abiertas” to the Jenny Polanco Project in Altos de Chavón. Many Casa de Campo and La Romana community members came to the opening cocktail showing their support for this Chavonera. Paolat’s work was first exhibited at Casa Quien – which was founded by Chavonera Amy Hussein who supports emerging and established local or international contemporary artists. Both Paolat and Amy welcomed guests to the event and explained the message and conceptualization of the art pieces to all who inquired.

"Heridas Abiertas" Paolat de la Cruz

“Heridas Abiertas” is an exhibition of around 10 photographs treated with mixed media that are now on display at the Jenny Polanco Project for the rest of the month. This exhibition is the result of an investigation Paolat did asking subjects under 40 their views on race, culture, and their personal experiences on such matters. The answers she received were varied and influenced the way she treated each of the photographs. Paolat used watercolors and inks in addition to several substances including chlorine, sugar, salt water from the Caribbean ocean, rum, acetone, detergent and thinner on the photos that were printed on matte paper. Each piece of art represented a part of Dominican history; the more the person had been affected, the more she treated the image. After this explanation and seeing the images you could easily identify who was proud of their heritage and who was distressed by it.

"Heridas Abiertas" Paolat de la Cruz

During the opening cocktail, Paolat mentioned the interview that impacted her the most was that of 22 year old man… He was torn by the life struggles he faced in life with race. His girlfriend’s family would present him as “el es morenito pero es inteligente” – he is a black man but is smart. People have always rejected him and his nickname is “black”. Looking at his picture and how treated it was, it appeared that he was an older man, he looked so worn out by all he had suffered. As you are able to find pieces like this one, also among the mix are ones barely treated – like that of a beautiful girl who shows no signs that her color has brought her any much injury or pain. The chemical treatment surrounding her reflected all but her image. It is astonishing the amount of people in this country who still have issues with race and skin color despite the fact that we are all a mixture of races. Instead of mistreatment and harbored suffering, we must work on creating a world where our children no longer face these kinds of issues.

"Heridas Abiertas" Paolat de la Cruz

Amy Hussein, who was recently a guest speaker at the 32nd Altos de Chavón School of Design graduation, founded Casa Quien as an art space dedicated to the development of Dominican contemporary art, located in a lovely 16th century home in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. This project serves as a platform to support and promote talented emerging artistic where they can showcase their work. Casa Quien specializes in One-of-a-Kind products produced in a limited quantity available to young collectors and art lovers.

Paolat de la Cruz plans on continuing this series and we hope that she, along with Casa Quien, brings it to us again and many more. If you haven’t been able to visit the exhibition, you still have a chance as it is open all the way through October at the Jenny Polanco Project. In the meantime, enjoy the following gallery of photos taken by Mariana Heredia, last Saturday October 1st during the opening cocktail of Heridas Abiertas:

Casa Quien

Casa QuienCasa Quien is located in the historic zone of the colonial city (Ciudad Colonial) of Santo Domingo.

Casa Quien was born in May 2014 as an initiative by Amy Hussein that responds to non-traditional art gallery structures. It has a space formed by the Gallery, the Art Boutique and Artists in Residence Program. The Gallery will present the work of emerging and established local and international contemporary artists. The Boutique Art specializes in original art, prints, books, crafts, curios, one-of-a-kind (unique or produced in limited quantities) products among others for a variety of contemporary artists.

Address: Calle Arzobispo Nouel esq. Sánchez, Zona Colonial de Santo Domingo.

Schedule: Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Teléfono: (809) 689-0842

Email(s): [email protected][email protected]

For more information on Casa Quien and artist and their pieces in the gallery and the Art Boutique visit their website (click here) or FaceBook, or follow Casa Quien: @casaquien on Instagram, @casaquien and on Twitter, Casa Quien on Pinterest.

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