Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Radames "Juni” Figueroa's work reflects contemporary life in the Caribbean, juxtaposing imagery conjuring tropical leisure while using humor as a social critique. Originally trained as a painter, Figueroa's ongoing series he calls "Tropical Readymades" depict mass-produced commodities as planters for tropical fauna.
OG Kermit Magic Dragon In My Shoes (Tropical Readymade Painting), which juxtaposes a branded sneaker with a sprouting marijuana plant, comically suggests a psychedelic realm while featuring contemporary commodities and referencing Puerto Rico's colonial trading past. This work is a fitting piece to benefit COPI, an organization working against gentrification forces and a colonial past that marginalized the community.
OG Kermit Magic Dragon In My Shoes (Tropical Readymade Painting), 2021
24" x 18”
Archival Pigment Print
Signed and numbered by Radamés ‘Juni’ Figueroa
Limited edition of 20 with 4 AP
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa has been included in notable solo and group institutional exhibitions internationally such as the University Museum of Albany, NY (2020), SculptureCenter, NY (2014), The Whitney Biennial, NY (2014), and most recently he won Artissima’s illy Present Future Prize granting him a solo exhibition at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin in 2021.
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa recently said about this print, "Tropical Readymades are objects that exist in the landscape, which I have classified as possible works of art. In 2008 I began to plant plants in different kinds of objects: basketballs, soccer balls, and shoes, among other things. Using unusual receptacles or objects for plants was a common practice at my grandmother’s house and I incorporated this idea into my work. For my contribution to the COPI print series, I returned to a series of paintings I began in 2008, in which I re-presented the Tropical Readymades as images. This recent reprisal is more contemporary, presenting a new Nike sneaker with a marijuana plant—both symbols of contemporary consumption. The piece contrasts urban life with the natural world and also refers to the recent “legalization” of the marijuana plant in many parts of the world: a living being that until very recently was “illegal” in Western culture has now become a medicinal plant of widespread consumption. Furthermore, it is beautiful.
The piece’s title “OG Kermit Magic Dragon in My Shoe” references the different marijuana strains sold in cannabis dispensaries, which I find very funny." — Radamés “Juni” Figueroa
ART FOR CHANGE will donate 20% of the net proceeds from the sale of this limited edition print to COPI.
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