Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has selected Puerto Rican artist Daniel Lind-Ramos as the recipient of the second annual Pérez Prize, a $50,000 award which honors recent achievements in artistic innovation.
Lind-Ramos was recognized for producing works which explore Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American identities such as his installation Centinelas (Sentinels), 2013, which was featured at the 2019 Whitney Biennial in New York. The assemblage piece was made with steel bars, palm tree tunks, burlap, and other found materials from his home town of Loíza, a predominantly black town in Puerto Rico, and merges African political, mystical, and spiritual motifs from the region.
“The vital experience that inspires my sculptural assemblages derives from our Afro-Puerto Rican communities and from the African diaspora as a whole,” said Lind-Ramos. “The goal of these works is to honor our ancestral communities with narratives, historical references, and tangible traces of their lifetimes. The idea is to appreciate and express their contribution with specific examples through an inclusive aesthetic that stimulates a range of readings and meanings. The Pérez Prize is a powerful acknowledgement that materially encourages and promotes the continuation of this project.”
Funded by a gift from local patrons of the arts and longtime PAMM supporters Jorge and Darlene Pérez, the Pérez Prize will be presented to the artist on March 7 at PAMM’s Art of the Party, the museum’s largest fundraising event of the year. Lind-Ramos was chosen by a jury comprising Kate Fowle, director of MoMA PS1 in New York, and Jose Roca, artistic director of FLORA ars + natura in Bogota, as well as PAMM curators Jen Inacio, René Morales, and María Elena Ortiz, and Patricia García-Vélez Hanna from El Espacio 23.
PAMM director Franklin Sirmans remarked: “We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to support artists financially thanks to the Pérez Family. The prize is the perfect embodiment of our shared belief in the power of artists as critical voices in all of contemporary life. Lind-Ramos’s engagement with history and present-day life in Puerto Rico sheds valuable light on vexing early twenty-first-century problems centered around geopolitics, economics, race, and society as they play out in a ‘postcolonial’ land.”
Jorge Pérez added, “Being able to support such talented young artists like Daniel, and inspire others like him, is the very reason this prize was created. His efforts to highlight the often overlooked influence of African diaspora artists across Latin American and Caribbean cultures are incredibly important, and we couldn’t be prouder to be able to further empower him through this year’s Pérez prize.”
Last year’s award went to artist Christina Quarles for producing works which grapple with questions of racial and sexual identity, gender, and queerness.