In the month of May, DAAS Co-Op Art Gallery & Gifts is presenting the art of Puerto Rican artist Junior Jimenez.
The exhibition, entitled Game of Life, Art During the Pandemic, proposes iconography and symbolism, conveying the struggle for control during this past year. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, May 7 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk. The exhibition will be on display through May 29.
Junior Jiménez was born on July 16, 1967, in Paterson, N.J., to Puerto Rican parents. When he was four years old, his family moved to Camuy, a small town in north Puerto Rico. From early childhood, he was intrigued by the power of religious iconography, the symbolism found mostly in the Catholic Church and also visible in the Taíno and African cultures, which are part of Puerto Ricans’ DNA.
The island’s colonial architecture, his childhood passion for archeology, and future visual references from the pop culture of the 60s, 70s and 80s would come together and emerge as the defining influence on his body of work. He attended the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, Puerto Rico and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kean University in New Jersey. His long career in the advertising world both as an art director and a creative became the launchpad for his future career in the visual arts.
“As a mixed media artist, I always like to incorporate my own photographs into my pieces and develop them into a multilayered artistic statement. Originally, I wanted to use portraits and photos of random people in the streets walking amid the invisible enemy. But going out and exposing myself to the virus was not an option,” comments Jimenez, who uses mixed media as a way to represent his ideas. “So, for the main visuals, I decided to use my personal collection of vintage photo portraits from the 1800’s. The dead would have a chance to come back to life to warn us of the devastation that could follow in the wake of the pandemic,” adds the artist.
DAAS Co-Op is also starting a series of classes hosted by published author Winslow E. Dixon, starting in May 2021. Topics include book publishing, selfcare and homeopathic home living, among others. For a class schedule and sign-up link visit www.daascoop.com/events.
The gallery invites all Southwest Florida art collectors, supporters and enthusiasts to join them for the opening reception May 7. DAAS Co-Op is located at 1815 Fowler St. in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers. The gallery’s temporary business hours are Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information about the venue and how to become a member can be found at www.daascoop.com or by calling 239-590-8645.