Carlos Rolón’s bicycle sculptures blend fine art with pop culture influence and celebrate the DIY maker communities of his youth. “I take joy in creating and craft-making. What I’ve learned and taken away from the subculture of customization is the passion that drives these self-taught creatives. It reminds me why I create and why I decided to become an artist,” says Rolón. “I feel the works ultimately produce a hybrid language of social practice, painting and sculpture which invite the viewer to engage in discourse and discussion.”
Debuting at Brookfield Place this month, his latest exhibition titled When We Were Young features four bicycle installations: Boricua Sound System, The Majestics (For Louise), and two new bicycle sculptures specially commissioned by Arts Brookfield titled SUNNY & LEE. To make the never-before-seen pair, Rolón has fully refurbished and customized children’s-sized vintage Air Flow Sky King Tricycles from the 1930s in his signature brand of high art with a modern twist.
Themes of music, celebration and community come up frequently in Rolón’s work. Boricua Sound System pays homage to New York’s Puerto Rican Schwinn Bicycle Club that has been active since the 1970s and features a fold-down domino table that invites the public to play a game of dominoes while listening to the tropical sounds of salsa artists from its built-in speaker system. The soundtrack is exclusively made up of tracks from Fania Records (a frequent Rolón collaborator) and the label will host a pop-up dance party as part of the exhibit at Brookfield Place on Saturday, May 19th. Visitors are also invited to stop by for a game of dominoes or checkers from 11am to 7pm while the installation is open.
Learn more at artsbrookfield.com.
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