Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of buying American-made products and supporting local businesses. The theme continues today!
This week, I was visiting a friend and stumbled upon the newly opened Harlem Wine Gallery. What really caught my eye as I walked by was the artwork by Juan Carlos Pinto. I decided to stop in and take a look.
Pinto is a native Guatemalan who has been living in New York for the last 10 years. He uses old Metro cards and maps to create collage art. Each work depicts a scene from the city or a masterfully constructed portrait.
Pinto’s artist statement describes his use of such a unique media:
Pinto’s use of plastic is unique and pulsates with hidden significance. The idea of using these non-biodegradable cards is to reinforce recycling and prolonging its use indefinitely while providing the artist with a source free material. It is also a way of reminding us about the danger this material can cause if left to seep into the earth.
He even uses the Metro cards for his signature. What a great way to re-purpose discarded plastic.
Gallery owner Ken Forte was very friendly, and chatted with me about the concept of his new business. He wants to support local artists and build a neighborhood community that appreciates the arts. As time passes, different local artists will be exhibited in the space.
It is also such a interesting way to get the community interested in art. You may stop for a bottle of wine, but leave with new friends and a great piece of art.
Pinto’s artwork is available for purchase through the Harlem Wine Gallery. Be sure to make a visit to the location (752 St. Nicholas Ave) or call 212-281-9463.
New to buying art? Proper etiquette is to ALWAYS buy from the gallery. Never approach the artist directly. Galleries spend a lot of money publicizing the artist, renting the space, and covering the additional overhead of the business. Buying from the gallery supports a local business AND the artist at the same time.