Oral history interview with Juan Sánchez, 2018 October 1-2
Audio: 9 sound files (7 hr., 59 min.) digital, wav
Transcript: 90 pages.
An interview with Juan Sánchez conducted 2018 October 1-2, by Josh T. Franco, for the Archives of American Art, at Sánchez studio, in Brooklyn, New York. Sanchez speaks of his childhood in Puerto Rican enclaves of Brooklyn; formative experiences with Nuyorican poets; early memories of Puerto Rico; his earliest interest in drawing from comic books; early art-making and art education experiences, including the Pratt Saturday program; encountering Taller Boricua during the time he studied at Cooper Union; drawing formative inspiration from En Foco's photography; flourishing after initial difficulties at Cooper Union; his graduate studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University; his early exhibition experiences; his negative experience of participating in Group Material's exhibition Americana; reflections on political art; his friendship with Ana Mendieta; his collaborations with MoCHA , INTAR gallery, and Exit Art; the development of his painting, photography, and collage aesthetics through graduate school; the personal and emotional dimension of his art-making process; his use of circles and photographs of heroic historical figures in his paintings; the development and execution of his public art commissions; the development of his teaching career; his experiences working at the Queens Museum education department and Cooper Union admissions department; specific controversies over the content of his work being shown at Princeton University and SUNY Stony Brook; the development and execution of his printmaking practice; and his reflections on the experience and importance of participating in an oral history interview. Sanchez also recalls Amiri Baraka, Sandra María Esteves, Louis Reyes Rivera, Pedro Pietri, Gilbert Hernandez, Jorge Soto, Hans Haacke, Reuben Kadish, Eugene Tulchin, Charles Biasiny, Leon Golub, Larry Fink, Robert Blackburn, Mel Edwards, Doug Ashford, Jimmie Durham, Nancy Spero, Lucy Lippard, Geno Rodriguez, Papo Colo, Jayne Cortez, Carl Andre, Ana Mendieta, Raquelín Mendieta, Noah Jemison, Inverna Lockpez, Nilda Peraza, James Luna, Julia Hirschberg, Susana Leval, Miguel Algarín, Jeanetter Ingberman, Jolie Guy, Susan Bloodworth, Zachary Fabri, Gilbert Cardenas, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Michael Brathwaite, Alfredo Jaar, Tomie Arai, Lorenzo Clayton, Joan Hall, Pepe Coronado, Maryanne Simmons, and Melquiades Rosario Sastre.
Place of publication, production, or execution: New York (State)
Access Note / Rights: The transcript and recording are open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Citation: Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Juan Sánchez, 2018 October 1-2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms: Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Funding: Funding for this interview was provided by the Lichtenberg Family Foundation.
Biography Note: Juan Sánchez (1954- ) is an artist and teacher in Brooklyn, New York. Josh T. Franco (1985- ) is the National Collector, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Provenance: This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Location Note: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001