FREE - October 13, 2023-April 4, 2024
October 13, 2023-April 4, 2024
An art exhibit by En Foco
October 13, 2023 – April 04, 2024
At Pregones Theater in The Bronx
575 Walton Avenue
Boricua Lens: Sophie Rivera Portraits, a selection of portraits by Puerto Rican street photographer Sophie Rivera. The exhibition is an initiative of the Nueva Luz Study Center (NLSC) and is part of En Foco’s efforts to preserve the culture and legacy of diasporic lens-based artists. It will be on view at Pregones/PRTT from October 13, 2023 – April 4, 2024, located at 575 Walton Ave, Bronx, NY 10451, and virtually at enfoco.org. Public programs will be announced.
Sophie Rivera had been involved with En Foco since before the launch of the Nueva Luz photographic journal in 1985. Boricua Lens: Sophie Rivera Portraits honors this connection by showcasing photos from En Foco’s permanent collection and reproduced pages from the premiere issue of Nueva Luz including the historic cover. The virtual exhibition will also feature additional photos and supplemental material provided by Light Work, in Syracuse, NY, the Estate of Sophie Rivera as well as sources that help to decipher Rivera’s portrait journey Intercambio essay Sophie Rivera: Portraits by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, in Nueva Luz Vol. 11:2 (2006), and references in En Foco’s Critical Mass newsletter.
“When viewing Rivera’s images one sees individuals looking directly at the camera. Facing the photographer’s lens, each subject holds the viewer’s gaze directly, imparting a bit of themselves to their audience. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sophie Rivera’s portraits highlight the under-represented communities of New York City. The same communities En Foco continues to serve. The quest to learn more about Sophie Rivera’s photography began with a visit to the warehouse storing Sophie’s full collection and archives. After getting over the sheer volume of work, we concentrated on the ephemera that paints a picture of an artist’s career outside of their body of work.”
– Valarie Irizary, Curator
With the recent launching of the Nueva Luz Study Center, access to Sophie Rivera’s archives inspired En Foco to expand the current information available for the artist. Giving a fuller picture of Sophie’s professional and creative life through this exhibition expansion to her entry in our archive. En Foco would like to thank the Estate and family of Sophie Rivera, for their support and for providing access to Rivera’s archives and materials.
Boricua Lens: Sophie Rivera Portraits was developed with support from Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s Step Up Artists in Residence program.