The idea for this painting “Plugged-in” came to be when I exhibited my work in East Harlem Café. I believed my paintings would evoke fond memories and community pride by others in the neighborhood creating a sense of belonging and encouraging locals to patronize the café. As I approached the café, to my dismay I didn’t see any locals from the neighborhood. Shocked and upset, I decided to go inside and observe these “Strangers”, “Newcomers”. I wondered where they came from as I sat there and observed these people plugged into their electronic devices, no one even glanced my way. I became enraged, and left the premises. I knew immediately what I was going to do. I reached for my water color paints and started painting.
Clemente Flores was born to Puerto Rican immigrant parents. He was raised within a family of Artists and musicians, and grew up in East Harlem, known as El Barrio. A self-taught artist, Clemente began to draw and paint in 1985.
Clemente Flores’ artwork has been exhibited throughout New York City and Puerto Rico since 1988. His artwork was the subject of a major retrospective “Clemente Flores, Memories of El Barrio” at the Museo del Barrio of New York in 2001. Other exhibits have been hosted at Boricua College, Union Settlement, Cuando Gallery and The Spanish Institute. His talents were commissioned to illustrate Robert Santiago’s book of 1995 “Boricua,” published by Random House, as well as illustrations for the “Quarterly Black Review.”
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