This week on the show I’m joined by artist Raul Vincent Enriquez. Raul has a solo exhibition on view now at Microscope Gallery here in Bushwick. The show is called PRIMP, and it features works centered around obsessive rituals of grooming. The exhibition was inspired by an ancient Mexican manuscript called the Codex Borgia, which depicts deities performing rituals in ornate costumes.
Among the pieces in PRIMP are a video showing an extreme close-up of some Raul joyously clipping his nails, and an animated on-line slide-show containing hundreds of photographs Raul pulled from the trash outside a local Bushwick portrait studio.
Raul has always been interested in portraiture, and he’s known for making what he calls “wiggly portraits” — jittery animations of people’s faces that fall somewhere between an Andy Warhol screen test and an animated GIF. In 2008 Raul’s wiggly portraits were projected on the Conde Nast jumbotron in Times Square.
In addition to his photos and videos, Raul is also well known for his tradition of serving burritos at his art openings. He considers them Mexican comfort food, and he learned growing up that proper hospitality involves offering food to your guests. He describes his burrito offerings as “radical hospitality” and has been invited to several art schools to make burritos and give talks on food and performance. While bringing burritos into the art gallery is often seen by gallerists and curators as a quirky take on relational aesthetics, Raul is hesitant to call it performance art.
I met up with Raul in his Bushwick studio to talk about his new exhibition, his wiggly portrait technique, and, of course, burritos.
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