Get access

Sculpting Blackness: Representations of Black-Puerto Ricans in Public Art



This article examines how race is represented in public art-works sponsored by the State in contemporary Puerto Rico. We focus mainly on two sculptures that commemorate Puerto Rico's black heritage, the sculptural triad entitled “Ritmo” (2006), and the sculpture titled “Osaín” (2007), both located in the town of Caguas. We argue that blackness in Puerto Rican art-works is rendered passive, foreign, and primitive. Nevertheless, while creating folkloric representations of blacks, black artists also try to convey a different image of blackness: one that is marked by modernity and rebelliousness.