In Conversation: Swagger and Tenderness

Join artists John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres alongside guest curators Amy Rosenblum-Martín and Ron Kavanaugh, Executive Director, Literary Freedom Project, and Sergio Bessa, Chief Curator Emeritus in conversation. Following the conversation will be a catalogue sale and signing for the exhibition on-view. 

RSVP for free here.


Feb 12, 2023      1pm - 3pm

John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres

John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres seek to address the very people they engage in their life casting process. They began working together at Fashion Moda in 1979 with the “South Bronx Hall of Fame” project. Ahearn was inspired by the 1950’s Mosaic Murals at the University of Mexico, the fiberglass “horror” figures at Coney Island, and provincial plaster Catholic church icons. Torres had worked in his uncle Raul’s Bronx statuary factory, where his family produced inexpensive painted plasters for local homes and Botanicas . During the 80’s the artists maintained neighborhood life casting workshops and created several permanent fiberglass murals featuring local residents. Since then they have created sculpture murals in the Netherlands, Baltimore, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. Recently they have installed many modest sculpture works publicly in the Bronx and Florida. John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres are represented by the Alexander and Bonin Gallery and Charlie James Gallery in LA.

Amy Rosenblum-Martín

Amy Rosenblum-Martín is an independent curator and Guggenheim staff. Former staff curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami and The Bronx Museum, she has also worked for MoMA; the Metropolitan; London’s National Portrait Gallery; Monterrey, Mexico’s MARCO; Madrid’s Reina Sofía; Barcelona’s MACBA; Buenos Aires’s MALBA, and Bregenz, Austria’s Kunsthaus Bregenz, among many other museums. Rosenblum-Martín was guest assistant curator of MoMA PS1’s Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. She curated ISCP’s Adjani Okpu-Egbe: On Delegitimization and Solidarity and Sugar Hill Children’s Museum’s Ana Mendieta: Thinking About Children’s Thinking. She co-authored the original website for Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and wrote for Greenwood Art Project, Tulsa.

Ron Kavanaugh

Ron Kavanaugh is a literary activist and executive director of the Literary Freedom Project, a Bronx-based arts organization that believes cultural identity is a fundamental cornerstone in the development of smart, creative, and engaged communities. Born and raised in the Bronx, Kavanaugh has worked with numerous arts organizations, including The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx Council on the Arts, and En Foco, Inc. As founding director of the Literary Freedom Project, he oversees the discussion group One Book One Bronx, the Mosaic Literary Conference, and Mosaic magazine.

Antonio Sergio Bessa

Antonio Sergio Bessa is the Chief Curator Emeritus at The Bronx Museum.


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