This past Thursday I attended the opening of the Juan Carlos Pinto exhibit, “MetroCard Art” at Le Salon d’Art in the Lower East Side. What I saw was a dynamic new body of his work and you can see the progression in his creations. Pinto’s new and innovative ways in the evolution of his MetroCard Art can be seen in the whole-punched dots used to construct the Basquiat.
“Juan Carlos Pinto is a self represented artist from Guatamala who has been working for the past 12 years in New York. Pinto’s artwork is also poignantly aggressive and projects a revolutionary declaration. The scope of his art covers abstract painting, tile work, wood, stencil and the use of non-biodegradable plastic and glass found objects, reinforcing his strong belief in recycling.
Most of Pinto’s media comes from salvaged material and found objects. He uses discarded plastic Metro Cards, which he dices and cuts into different shapes and pastes together to form pictures and messages. Issues such as human and animal rights, environmental preservation and empowerment of minorities are frequently incorporated into Pinto’s work.”
I first came into contact with the work of Juan Carlos Pinto several years ago. The skill and creativity seen in his work is unique. As an appreciator of art history, I admire the modern use of the mosaic tradition that dates back to the classical era of the ancient Greeks. The Romans also adopted mosaic which can be seen throughout their vast empire, from England, to North Africa and Asia Minor. One of Rome’s greatest legacies is decreeing Christianity as the official religion of their empire and mosaic art represented this religious ism. When the western Roman empire collapsed, the East flourished on with the Byzantines, who were the heirs to the Romans and also used mosaic art to decorate the glory of their empire.
“Pinto’s art exudes confidence, energy and challenge. It draws one into a dual world of playfulness and social responsibility. His legacy, as he sees it, is to be known as an artist who demands change to a Green Revolution.” — JCarlosPinto.com
The new MetroCard mosaics Juan Carlos Pinto has created is worth a stop in to the salon.
The exhibit is showing until March 4th at Le Salon d’ Art | 90 Stanton St., New York, NY