Kevin Quiles Bonilla—Sunroom Project Space 2022
Through installation and performance, Kevin Quiles Bonilla investigates notions of colonial history and consumption through the lens of his Latinx cultural heritage, as well as his lived experience as a queer artist and person with a disability. In the Sunroom, Quiles Bonilla’s A tropic squall blew in, while you dried in the sand explores the way that Puerto Rico is characterized as a site of leisure and its culture is commodified and fetishized for the tourist industry. Conflating reality and fantasy, Quiles Bonilla’s project comprises custom-printed beach towels, sling chairs and imagery of Puerto Rico from postcards, alongside documentation taken after Hurricane Maria—this year marks the fifth anniversary—recordings of emergency radio announcements, warning flags and sand covering the floor. This site-specific project examines the beach, as well as the garden, as politically charged spaces.
A tropic squall blew in, while you dried in the sand represents what remains after an exodus provoked by environmental, political and economic issues, including hurricanes, governmental protests, earthquakes and the pandemic. On select days, Quiles Bonilla engages the grounds of Wave Hill with a sun tanning performance, as a gesture toward reclaiming spaces of leisure for underrepresented communities. Wearing a mask created out of a blue tarp, the artist employs his body as a vessel to consider various facets of his identity in relation to human-made paradisiacal landscapes.
Organized by Senior Curator of Visual Arts Eileen Jeng Lynch, the Sunroom Project Space provides an opportunity for New York-area emerging artists to develop and exhibit a site-specific project as a solo show. The 2022 season features, consecutively, Anina Major, Kevin Quiles Bonilla, Krystal DiFronzo, Heidi Norton, Deep Pool and Amina Ross.
Kevin Quiles Bonilla
Kevin Quiles Bonilla
Kevin Quiles Bonilla is an interdisciplinary artist born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His work has been presented in Puerto Rico, the United States, Mexico, China, Belgium, Japan, and Greece. Venues include the Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, The 8th Floor, Dedalus Foundation, Smack Mellon and the Leslie-Lohman Museum, all in New York. He currently lives and works between Puerto Rico and New York. He received a BFA in photography from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design.
Learn more about the artist at kevinquilesbonilla.com