The sinking of the tank
This large-scale piece (30inx48in) is a dedication to the environmental beauty that Puerto Rico has to offer. The surrealist aspect of this piece can be seen in the mountainous image of mother Earth absorbing sunlight and feeding it to the mangrove tree, offering life to the flora and fauna in the image. The tank in the image holds a heavy history for the people of Puerto Rico, particularly that of the occupation of the US military in the small island of Vieques, where waste, land mines and tanks are still present and were never removed, to the point where certain parts of the island are blocked off to the local residents who call the island home. This tank is only an example of the reign of the US over Puerto Rico. The image shows the tank covered in indigenous taino symbols, along with the puertorican flag, as a message of hope for a future where our natural environment is loved and protected and the people are free of symbols of US colonization. Particular mention is made of the turpial, boa puertorrique~na and the puertorican parrot, visible on the branches of the tree, as endemic and endangered species of the island. Oil on canvas.
My Home is Not For Sale
This piece depicts recent occurrences within the island of Puerto Rico, involving the naming of the leaders of the Fiscal Control Board and the movement of US government toward constructing beach front hotels on the island, to bring in tourism and increase revenue. This process would devastate the natural environment of the island and put many endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna at risk. Many puertoricans have protested these actions and have been exposed to aggression by police officials in the process. The three figures in the image are Pedro Albizu Campos, Lolita Lebron and Ramon Emeterio Betances, famous nationalist activists who fought for the rights of Puerto Rico. They can be seen raising their fists in protest at a White hand holding an excavation vehicle. Oil on canvas.
This piece was created on May 1st of 2017, as a symbol of solidarity with Puerto Rico, during a day of protest against the Fiscal Control Board. On this day, one of the biggest topics of protest was that of the threat to invade natural environments, such as beach fronts and natural reserves, to establish hotels and other tourism attractions. This initial protest was not the first of many, but simply one of the multiple protests against the US government attempting to take control of Puerto Rican lands and social workings, reaching back a century. Since the establishment of the Fiscal Control Board, a number of hospitals and schools have also been closed down, leaving many jobless. The image of a racially ambiguous figure, painted in black, with a star to symbolize the black and white flag of resistance, reaches ocean blue, as mangroves grow into an afro-like canopy, surrounded by bright yellow. The figure holds its head high in opposition.
Ambiente y Crisis/ Environment and Crisis
A class I took on environmental sociology touched on the topic of pollution to beach fronts, as hotels and other structures rise to increase tourism. The piece depicts a beautiful beach scenery with a woman symbolizing the different types of ancestry that make up Puerto Rican culture and Latin ethnicity, with roots grown into the ocean, as the threat of pollution and deforestation approaches. The figure is in position to push up off the rock, as branches grow into wings so that she can fly away from the environmental crisis. This image expresses the multifaceted issue of environmental threats, along with the people of the island’s population decreasing, leaving the island vacant for companies that seek to build more structures, destroy natural habitats and continue increasing pollution. This image also points to the feelings many experience of inability to stop what is occurring.
Nicole Olivieri Pagán (ElociN) is a Latinx artist and activist originally from Puerto Rico, currently residing in Camden, NJ. Although they have expertise in many art forms, their favorite mediums are ink, oil paint, nature photography, acrylic and linoleum print work. Through these mediums Nicole expresses their love for Puerto Rico and its people, as well as topics of environmental and social injustice, and inequality, with subtle hints of surrealism. Currently, Nicole is studying psychology, while working directly with youths in North Camden. Through it all, their artistic expression continues to expand, hopefully conveying a great need for social change. Art/ Arte de ElociN.