Organized by Director of Curatorial Programs Deborah Cullen, This Skin I’m In showcases the museum’s recent acquisitions of contemporary art, illuminating the first core collection of contemporary work by Dominican artists in any United States museum collection and demonstrating El Museo’s first step in its commitment towards building in-depth modern and contemporary holdings of work by Dominican artists.
This grouping of ten diverse and multi-media works
- primarily by New York-based Dominican artists along with some work by artists from the island - addresses the idea of skin as a metaphor and membrane, mediating between one’s inner being and external experience. These cutting-edge works explore the contradictions between isolation and connection, particularly as expressed through the metaphor of an island surrounded by water, as well as both the losses and gains of the migration experience. Other recurring themes within the works are the roles of race, class and gender, and these are echoed by the notion of invention, artifice, and even self-made armors utilized to get through day-to-day life. These artists refer, overtly or subtly, to Dominican history, and to both the celebrated and stereotyped perceptions of Dominicans’ contributions to contemporary culture.
Included in This Skin I’m In are works by artists such as Elia Alba, Tony Capellan, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, iliana emilia garcia, Quisqueya Henríquez, Freddy Rodríguez, Scherezade, Julio Váldez and Limber Vilorio.