Hyperallergic Reviews Defacing Adversity: The Life and Times of Roberto Lugo

Wexler Gallery
Jun 28, 2016 3:47PM

Ceramic Vases that Contain All the Beauty and Ugliness of US History 

Photo by Jewel Lea photography courtesy of Wexler Gallery.


Ceramist, Roberto Lugo, grew up as a child of Puerto Rican immigrants in North Philadelphia where his life was riddled with the issues and challenges of inner city youth. His work depicts a clear story of how his eyes were opened to injustices in the world at a young age. Although his childhood was of limited means, he came from a culture rich in family who nurtured, guided and inspired him to become part of his own solution. Lugo represents his family and heritage often in his work as a homage for teaching him the value of hard work, and for empowering him to take a stand and evoke change. By combining graffiti, hip hop, history, pop culture and porcelain, Lugo is bringing new conversations to the table of contemporary art. 

"Looking at Lugo’s vessels, one thinks right away of Kehinde Wiley’s majestic portraits of heroic young men of color, painted in the manner of a Jacques-Louis David portrait, or Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton on Broadway. Wigs and waistcoats are the visual signifiers of founding authority in the United States, and Lugo has chosen the perfect moment to introduce both porcelain and pottery to this conversation about our past and present. Like Fred Wilson before him, Lugo has used the visual language of American decorative arts to make clear and plain the connection between the luxury and resources of the early Republic and the human exploitation that made that luxury possible... And this is where the particular brilliance of Lugo’s vessels achieves the marriage of form with message so beautifully." - Sarah Archer for Hyperallergic  

  You can read the full article on the Wexler Gallery website: here.   

Wexler Gallery