Spotlight: John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres
This exhibition highlights a group of sculptures by John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres in the Bronx Museum Permanent Collection. Whether produced individually or in collaboration, this series of works convey both artists’ commitment to representing their local communities. John Ahearn moved from downtown Manhattan to the South Bronx in 1979 and began making his first casts of local residents at Fashion Moda, an alternative gallery that thrived in the South Bronx during the 1980s and early 1990s. It was during one of these live casting sessions that Rigoberto Torres met Ahearn. As it happened, Torres had already been introduced to casting and painting at his uncle’s statuary factory. At first, Torres volunteered as a model and later became Ahearn’s long-time collaborator. Over the span of a 30-year career, Ahearn and Torres have exhibited their work widely across the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
In addition to works previously collected by the Bronx Museum, the present exhibition also includes a suite of busts recently donated by Krasdale Foods, Inc. that were originally exhibited at their Community Gallery in the early 1980s. Transforming the everyday man, woman, and child into monumental works of art, these casts evidence the trust and respect that both Ahearn and Torres established with South Bronx residents.