Experience is Foundation: The Art of Johnny Irizarry


The gallery is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 1 – 4 PM; Wednesday, 1 – 6 PM.

A self-described cultural worker and educator, Johnny Irizarry’s art builds on his experiences working with communities of color, spirituality, and a passion for sharing his Puerto Rican heritage.

In his first solo show at Taller, Irizarry presents new photography, painting, collage, sculpture, and video.

In his process, he often combines various mediums, including ink, colored pencil, found materials, and cut paper. His works often have prosaic origins. In his hands, for example, a picture of gutters from his iPhone, sandals with peace signs, and wooden crosses from a dollar store become responses to current events.

In his new show, Irizarry confronts the 2020 death of George Floyd, Philadelphia’s spike in gun violence, and the struggles of Puerto Ricans to sustain their unique identity in the shadow of American hegemony.

His artworks explore the human condition, bring attention to problems in the criminal justice system, humanity’s impact on nature, and the power of folk tales to communicate identity.

Johnny Irizarry’s work spans from teaching at universities to being director of La Casa Latina at UPenn and community centers. In the 1990s, he served as Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño. As a cultural worker, he has been at the forefront of Puerto Rican and Latinx civil rights struggles and fights for criminal justice.

Curator: Rafael Damast

  • "Madre Naturaleza (Mother Nature)," 2021

On view

8/13 – 10/2/21

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