Thursday, August 20, 2015

Artist at home: Manny Vega

NY Times, a Puerto Rican Luminary focuses on our neighbor artist Manny Vega and the subject of his work: Dr. Antonia Pantoja

A Puerto Rican Luminary Emerges, Piece by Glistening Piece
JULY 5, 2015

Like a deconstructed rainbow, glistening bits of tiles were
spread out on a table before Manny Vega. He hunched over
them, his rough hands holding each jagged bit as he gently
glued them in place.  Up close, they looked like a pixilated
jumble.  But step back, and the big picture emerged.

Mr. Vega, a Byzantine craftsman of sorts, practices the art
of mosaic-making. In his studio - the living room of his
small apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan -
he is finishing his latest piece, a large mosaic portrait of
Dr. Antonia Pantoja.  She is an apt subject for the ancient
art that takes tiny pieces and brings them together to make
omething grand.  A half-century ago, Dr. Pantoja embarked
on a life of activism and service, creating institutions to
help New York City's growing Puerto Rican community,
focusing especially on education.