Microscope Gallery is very pleased to present PRIMP a solo exhibition of new works by Bushwick-based media artist Raul Vincent Enriquez. In PRIMP, Enriquez links the private habits and routines of grooming both to the social aspects of portraiture and to the complex rituals displayed in the ancient Mexican manuscript the Codex Borgia.

Working this time with 35mm half-film strips, flip-action animated c-prints, single channel video, animated GIFs, and an online DHTML moving image archive of found portraits in addition to animated moving image portraits, Enriquez comments on our modern obsession with image and the technological efforts to capture our likeness throughout history. PRIMP marks a radical expansion in approach and medium for Enriquez, who for years has been exploring portraiture obsessively through animated digital stills or “wiggly” portraits, culminating in his “I in the Sky” exhibition in 2008 projected in the Times Square via the Conde Nast building’s jumbotron.

The centerpiece of PRIMP is the DHTML browser-based moving image People I Don’t Know series of more than 100 individuals, which uses as its source a collection of 35mm photographic negatives Enriquez found discarded in the trash near his Bushwick studio about five years ago. The works which are accessible in the gallery by WIFI mobile iOS/Android devices show random people, couples and families, posing for their studio portraits and are the first works in which Enriquez has employed found images.

Enriquez also returns to analog technologies for the first time since his university studies, with original works on 35mm half strip film, a series of which are suspended in single frame slide viewers. His flip book works further reduce the magic of movement and the act of primping and posing to their basic elements. His signature moving image portraits are also featured, taking on the bizarre and often gruesome rituals of the Codex Borgia. A new single channel video and animated GIF installation dealing with the tools and acts of grooming are also on view.

Enriquez says, “The one thing I find uncanny in all the images I’ve been looking at, whether it be the found portraits or the Codex, is the sheer amount of grooming it took to be prepared for the image. I deeply admire the practice of grooming.”

For the opening on Aprill 22, Enriquez will host the evening with his customary burrito bar performance in which he prepares and serves the audience delicious burritos. This will be his final burrito bar event.

GIF Grid – Twenty GIFs, iMac, Raul Vincent Enriquez © 2012


Raul Vincent Enriquez works in various media, including photography, animation, live performance, moving image, food, and sound. Enriquez also has a history of hosting events, such as the Bean and Cheese Burrito Party, which fosters mastication among audience members. His work has shown in recent years at the New Museum; Queens Museum; Times Square; Photo Miami and Photo LA Art Fairs; Microscope Gallery; The Stephan Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Scope (NYC/London/Miami); Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; New York Theatre Workshop, NYU Performance Studies Program; and Cal Arts, Los Angeles, CA among others. Enriquez has a BFA in Music Synthesis and Composition from California State University. He was born in Los Angeles, CA and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

People I don’t Know, 100 DHTML portraits in loop on web url, Raul Vincent Enriquez © 2012

All images are courtesy of Raul Vincent Enriquez

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