American Monarchy

This is the first of three Workspace 2014 exhibitions, featuring the work of LES Studio Program artists-in-residence.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is pleased to present American Monarchy, a solo exhibition by Enrique Figueredo. The exhibition expresses Figueredo’s surreal fantasy of becoming the first American monarch. Highlighting politics, religion and popular culture, sex, citizenship, mysticism, and iconography, Figueredo paints and carves images that are both recognizable and falsified, compelling the viewer to believe in these dream-like stills as scenes from the past, present and future. In combining material observations with questions of capitalistic responsibility, Figueredo challenges the dissonance between power and authority and the intentions of those who represent a society for either the greater good or the good of the chosen few.

Figueredo uses his practice to confront the tension between his Venezuelan heritage and the surrounding American culture. Blending energetic marks and precise textures, Figueredo imposes the depth of figures onto planes, using an endless variation of simple lines that grow into forms. His increasingly physical process extends beyond the pure woodblock print, layering silk screen, oil sticks, paint and pencil on top of each print, destroying the preciousness of the original object in order to generate something new. Similarly, Figueredo’s large-scale paintings draw from his printmaking technique, composing colorful planes layered on top of one another, that merge the powdered wigs of our forefathers with the obscenities of our contemporary amusements.

American Monarchy is Enrique Figueredo’s first solo exhibition in New York post his residency at the Lower East Side Studio Program. Enrique has participated in group shows at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and Superchief Gallery at CultureFix, both in the LES. Enrique has exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in Santa Fe, New Mexico his home prior to New York. Notably, Enrique was an artist in residence at the Historic Santa Fe Foundation. Venezuelan-American artist Enrique Figueredo lives and works in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He received his BFA from Purchase College in 2004.

The LES Studio Program is a three and six month residency program, run by Artists Alliance Inc, open to under-represented, emerging and mid-career professional working artists. Founded in 2003, the LES Studio Program underscores AAI’s belief that the arts and individual artists are essential elements of the culture, history and future of the Lower East Side community. Artists of all disciplines–painting, photography, sculpture, video, installation, new media–are considered for fully-funded studio space to produce new work and make use of resources needed to support their creative practice. The residency offers 24-hour studio access, the opportunity to present work to curators and critics through AAI-organized studio visits, and a curated exhibition at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space.

Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible.