Mario Petrirena, daddy come ride with me, 1987

Mario Petrirena


Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia

With a manner analogous to literary stream-of-consciousness, Mario Petrirena juxtaposes “things” simply because they resonate with chords deep within. His work is therefore a kind of self-portrait, not of his appearance, but of his inner life, making concrete those often wispy, evanescent memories that can define a person even more definitively than his features. Composed of ceramic, collage, and found-object works, his recent show unfolded in four galleries, each with a particular focus: personal narrative, politics, beauty and transcendence, and finally, mortality. Largely autobiographical, the first room “introduced” Petrirena as a Cuban-American who came to the U.S. during the ’60s in the aftermath of Castro’s takeover, followed almost a year later by his parents. A battered tricycle next to a ceramic hand, daddy come ride with me (1987) is a poignant appeal to his hard-working but undemonstrative father, who lost several fingers in a sugar mill accident in Belle Glade, Florida. …see the entire review in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.