ADRIÁN 'VIAJERO' ROMÁN
Adrian Roman, also known as Viajero, was born in New York City of Puerto Rican descent. Throughout his travels to the Caribbean, Central America, Africa, and a number of cities across the United States, he has exposed himself to a variety of cultures that have influenced his work.
Viajero is an artist resident of the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn New York, and works closely with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Disapora Institute in New York City. In 2012, he exhibited at Museo de Arte de Caguas, Puerto Rico as part of the group show AFROLATINOS, which was awarded Best Exhibit 2012 by International Association of Art Critics. Viajero was most recently nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant for sculpture. He has exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States and Puerto Rico.
“I believe we are all travelers on a journey through life, a voyage of infinite possibilities. “Viajero” is more than a name – it is a projection of this odyssey and consciousness of timeless being.”
My Puerto Rican heritage and New York City upbringing are influences on my artistic practice; traveling back and forth sparked an early interest in exploring these two disparate worlds – the tropical landscape of Puerto Rico and the overpopulated cityscape of New York. My work draws inspiration from migration, race, and identity by exploring memories of observed and experienced events, repressed trauma, and childhood. The past is crystallized as a preserved moment in time, allowing for continual resurrection in the present.
Charcoal is the primary medium I use to draw on various supports, whether traditional paper or three-dimensional objects, which embody cultural, social, political, economic, or personal significance. The drawings evolve into sculptural installations and assemblages – transformative environments that create an interactive experience, sometimes introducing audio and aromatic elements to enhance the sensory experience. In Caja De Memoria Viva I: Antonio Hernandez, a charcoal portrait covers four sides of a wooden cube that is suspended from the ceiling. The bottom of the work remains open, inviting viewers to physically enter into the interior space, where an audio recording of the subject’s voice recounts his memories while viewers inhale the fragrance of fresh Caribbean coffee beans.
The combination of charcoal drawings, artifacts, and the transcendent encounter of perceiving the work in real time allows for contemplation of our collective experience. I believe there is a parallel relationship between the materials I work with and our human existence. From the material’s creation to its death and subsequent rebirth as an art object, the preservation of life, memory, and time breathes through each piece.