Pedro Velez

Chicago, Illinois, USA
Puerto Rican
APT Mexico City
Artist Social Media
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  • Ni de aqui, ni de alla—neither from here or there. This is something you might hear on the streets of Puerto Rico as people consider what it means to be both citizens of the United States and colonized subjects of an antiquated political system.

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  • The background radiation is still there, two decades later, from the infamous 1993 Whitney Biennial — the so-called multi-cultural, identity-politics, political, or just bad biennial. Establishment art history circa 1993 was a broken model, built on white men and Western civilization and certain ossified ideas about “greatness” and “genius.” New artists looking for new ways to speak to new audiences couldn’t get their voices heard or work seen.

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  • 10 Opening Exhibitions to Watch

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  • Born in Puerto Rico and living in Chicago, Illinois, MutualArt had the opportunity to catch Pedro Vélez as he made his final preparations in his Brooklyn studio at APT Institute for the opening of the Whitney Biennial 2014. Vélez is known for his multidisciplinary approach, incorporating painting, large-scale collages, web-based works, and sculpture.

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  • The 2014 edition of the Whitney Biennial is upon us, enlivening the Breuer Building with one last biennial before the museum moves to the Meat Packing District in 2015. Before it christens its new space, the biennial has taken a new turn, inviting three curators from outside of the museum to put their mark on the exhibition. Stuart Comer (Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA), Anthony Elms (Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), and Michelle Grabner (artist and Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago) have each been given their own floor of the museum, to curate three mini biennials fused into one.

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  • As the memories of our favorite exhibitions from 2013 wane, 2014 promises a slew of exciting museum shows opening around the world. This year marks an important one for New York, with the Whitney Biennial’s final edition in the iconic Breuer building, in addition to big shows at MoMA and PS1. The large scale architectural work of Elmgreen & Dragset is celebrated in Oslo, and New York’s Tauba Auerbach is given her first solo museum show in the UK. Paris welcomes a historic show of seminal ‘decisive moment’ photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, while Los Angeles examines Expressionism in France and Germany before the influence of World War I. These and other shows in our round up promise an exciting year for art viewing audiences across the globe.

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  • The Whitney Biennial curators have chosen the 103 participants for this years exhibition. The show is the United States most important survey of emerging American art. The 2014 edition will take place March 7–May 25, 2014. It will be the last Biennial in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s building at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street before the Museum moves downtown to its new building in the spring of 2015. This is the 77th in the Museum’s ongoing series of Annuals and Biennials begun in 1932 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

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Pedro Veléz (b. Puerto Rico, 1971) obtained his M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his B.A. in Communications at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico. His work adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating painting, large scale wall collages, web-based works and sculpture. Since 1999 Pedro Vélez has channeled moral coercion and political corruption by producing fake exhibition announcements, posters, developing on-going fictional narratives, publishing art journals and creating itinerant presentations with the group, FGA (a.k.a Fucking Good Art) that may occur in the virtual realm.

Upcoming exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial 2014 in New York and #DrunkDictators, an “On The Wall” installation at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Recent shows include A Study in Midwestern Appropriation, curated by Michelle Grabner, at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Contemporary Passions: American, European, and Latin American Art from the Serapión and Belk Collection, Museo de Arte de Ponce, PR (2012); Eraser, curated by Rachel Furnari, at Magnan Metz Gallery in NYC (2011); The Day of the Corrupt at Western Exhibitions, Chicago (2009); Epilepsy and Pegatina and Adult Porn, Plush Gallery in Dallas (2007); Godfuck at Galeria Comercial, San Juan (2006).

Special projects for art fairs include: Hell in LAMB UC for NADA Art Fair (2005) and Art LA (2007). His work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in NYC, Locust Projects in Miami, The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and El Museo del Barrio.

His work as an artist and writer has been discussed in the New York Times, Frieze, Artlies and The Miami Herald among many other publications. For 10 years Pedro Vélez maintained a regular column about the art scenes in San Juan and Chicago for Artnet Magazine and his writing has been published in Newcity, New Art Examiner and Arte al Día. He was also the controversial editor of the blog El Box Score in San Juan.

Pedro Vélez works in Chicago and Puerto Rico.

For additional information about this artist, visit Mutual Art