For his first exhibition with moniquemeloche, Pedro Vélez will activate the "on the wall" project space with #DrunkDictators in an extension of his upcoming project for the Whitney Biennial 2014. An art critic as well as an artist, Vélez creates a visual essay in which art journalism, social media, beauty, race and political corruption collide. #DrunkDictators is a cryptic riddle, mimicking the way the majority of art critics distribute information, ideas and judgment. Combining text sourced from various art reviews with images of models (fellow artists/critics/editors/former lovers), he creates a simultaneously optimistic and fatalistic dynamic amid stream-of-consciousness. "As a working critic and artist it is often difficult for me to separate these two practices" explains Vélez. Inventing a fictitious settings as a way to push his own agenda Velez transforms the "on the wall" space into an artful form of critique- one of morality and ethics.
Pedro Vélez (b. Puerto Rico 1971, lives Chicago) obtained his M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999) and his B.A. in Communications at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico (1995). Veléz will be in the upcoming The Whitney Biennial 2014 and his work was most recently included in A Study in Midwestern Appropriation at the Hyde Park Art Center Chicago curated by Michelle Grabner (2013/14). Other recent shows include Contemporary Passions: American, European, and Latin American Art from the Serapión and Belk Collection, Museo de Arte de Ponce, PR (2012); Eraser, curated by Rachel Furnari, at Magnan Metz Gallery in NYC (2011); The Day of the Corrupt at Western Exhibitions, Chicago (2009); Epilepsy and Pegatina and Adult Porn, Plush Gallery in Dallas (2007); Godfuck at Galeria Comercial, San Juan (2006). Special projects for art fairs include: Hell in LAMB UC for NADA Art Fair (2005) and Art LA (2007). His work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in NYC, Locust Projects in Miami, The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and El Museo del Barrio in NYC. His work as an artist and writer has been discussed in the New York Times, Frieze, Artlies and The Miami Herald among many other publications. For 10 years Pedro Vélez maintained a regular column about the art scenes in San Juan and Chicago for Artnet Magazine and his writing has been published in Newcity, New Art Examiner and Arte al Día. He was also the controversial editor of the blog El Box Score in San Juan. Pedro Vélez's work adopts a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating painting, large scale wall collages, posters, webbased narratives, and fake exhibition announcements.