A Year After…911 Anonymous Victims of Hurricane María Honored by Artist in Traveling Exhibit


WEST PALM BEACH, FL – September 11, 2018 – Acclaimed Puerto Rican artist Tiago (Richard Santiago) will bring his powerful installation piece The Frailty of Strength & vice-versa to West Palm Beach during the month of September. Tiago is an international artist who was recently awarded a residency at the Armory Art Center. The installation will be part of the New & Now multi-media exhibition at the East and Greenfield Galleries of the Armory Art Center which will open on Friday, September 14th at 6:00PM.

The Frailty of Strength and vice-versa was conceptualized in the city of Chicago where Tiago and his family took refuge after losing their home to the natural disaster. The first presentation took place at the Boathouse Gallery in Humboldt Park during the month of May and then was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago in June. Tiago will present half of the installation at the New & Now exhibit and the other half will be presented at Rutgers University where the artist was invited to give a conference regarding this piece.

With this exhibition, the Puerto Rican artist wants us to remember the 911 people who were cremated without being medically examined or publicly identified after Hurricane Maria. “The piece will be composed of 911 unique monotype prints that come together to represent the 911 unnamed individuals who were cremated after the storm without an official medical examination by the Puerto Rican government. Each monotype is a manifestation of one of the victims”, Tiago said. He was inspired by the idea of fingerprints as unique identifiers. During a medical examination, bodies can be identified by their fingerprint. But because the cremated bodies were not examined and still remain anonymous, Tiago sought to personify each victim through an art form that symbolizes a unique identifier. During his exhibition’s opening ceremony in Chicago, the artist told the audience: “The people were cremated; they’re not going to be reborn. They died, but we don’t know who they were. Anonymity, the other side of it, the antonym of it, is manifestation.”

The Armory Art Center will be hosting the installation during its stay in Florida and will hold an artist talk and walk through on Saturday, October 6th at 12:45PM. As the project travels, it will grow bigger with each contribution, and its shape and assembly will change for each display. “It has a life of its own”, said the artist. The Frailty of Strength and vice-versa will visit Connecticut College at the end of October and end its journey in Puerto Rico early in 2019.

About Artist Tiago:

Tiago (Richard Santiago) earned a BA in fine arts from Marist College in New York and a Master of Fine Arts from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore under the tutelage of Grace Hartigan. He was a university professor at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico (School of Visual Arts and Design of Puerto Rico). He has worked in many genres including film, music, sculpture, graphic arts, and street art. Recently he has focused on creating collective art projects that center on social issues and pivot around the concept of empathy and solidarity. His work can be seen at Facebook@richardsantiagoartista.

Contact Information
787.210.0169 Angie Rosa (PR)



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