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Cabinet doors closed
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Cabinet doors closed Image Rights
Cabinet doors open
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Cabinet doors open Image Rights
Image Rights
Cabinet doors closed
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Copyright retained by the artist


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100% Boricua
Pepón Osorio
overall 79-3/8 × 33-½ × 20-½ inches
wood, glass, plexiglass, paper, fabric, metal, plastic
Not on view

Object Details

Accession Number
Physical Description
text for 100% Boricuan * It is estimated that by the year 2000 around 1 million Puerto Ricans will be living in N.Y.C. *349,115 Puerto Ricans reside in the Bronx alone, an amount that surpasses the number of people living in Bayamón, the second biggest city in Puerto Rico. *13% of all New Yorkers are Puerto Rican. *The city of the never ending coming and going, where in one year alone 4,297,510 people traveled from the island to N.Y. and 4,282,156 people travelled from N.Y. to the island. I know one Puerto Rican who went and came back 35 times in one year. *Where 20,000 Puerto Rican men and women were taken to fight in the Persian gulf, and the first New Yorkers to lose their lives in this absurd war were Newyoricans. *In a city where since the beginning of this year, there have been 21 cases of police brutality that have come before the public. In 1989, 11 latinos were murdered while under police custody. *Why aren’t there pictures of El Barrio on any N.Y.C. souvenirs? *In a city where 43.5% of all Puerto Rican families are headed by a woman. *Where unemployment for Puerto Ricans is approximately 13% but we do not tire of looking for work. *In a city where hundreds of Puerto Ricans have died of AIDS. *In a city with a lot of discrimination and not enough work. *In a city where Puerto Rican women often hold two jobs in order to keep their families going. (Take note Montaner!) *A city that little by little has been taking over our social clubs. *During the Christmas holidays it’s cheaper to go to Europe than to P.R. *In a city where less than .1% of arts funds are awarded to Puerto Rican institutions. *In a city where even a smaller percent reaches Puerto Rican artists. *By nature, we P.R.’s are multicultural. We live in two cultures, the Puerto Rican culture from Puerto Rico and the Newyorican culture from N.Y.
Credit Line
Gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation, 1992

object label Pepón Osorio, 100% Boricua (100% Puerto Rican) (1991) Walker Art Center, 1998

“I’ve always said that if you wanted to know about your history, go to your grandmother’s cabinet. She has it right there. She keeps track of history from your entire family and her family… . I wanted to become a grandmother and collect issues about different people in the community.”–Pepón Osorio

A native of Puerto Rico, Osorio has lived in New York City since 1975. He has created set designs, installations, performance art, and visual art such as 100% Boricua that draws from both his worlds. The word Boricua is derived from Borinquen, the Taino Indian name for Puerto Rico, and is a term used in that country to describe a “true” Puerto Rican. Osorio’s art deliberately speaks to the daily lives of the Puerto Rican community in New York.

Within the lacy doors of 100% Boricua Osorio combines typical New York City tourist souvenirs with Caribbean imagery. Many of these objects are overlaid with statistics in both Spanish and English about the growing Puerto Rican population in the United States and are meant to be understood in the context of these immigrant communities.

Label text for Pepón Osorio, 100% Boricua (100% Puerto Rican) (1991), from the exhibition 100 Years of Sculpture: From the Pedestal to the Pixel, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, February 22-May 24, 1998.

Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center