Medicina de Amor (Love Medicine) is a solo exhibition of recent work by Gerardo Dexter Ciprian. Working with archival material, hand-me-down objects, oral histories and folklore, Ciprian mines the ephemera of the Dominican diaspora and broader immigrant imaginary as a source of wisdom, mystery and resilience.  

At once personal and allegorical, the exhibition draws on a vast wealth of personal stories, riddles, and superstitions the artist has archived over the years as well as objects and images with special significance in the Dominican immigrant imaginary. Jabon de cuaba—an iconic soap in D.R. used for everything from washing your body to cleaning dishes—is reconstituted into ghost doubles of bricks from the artist’s Bronx childhood home; hand-me-down furniture passed down from the artist’s grandparents is transformed into lanterns that seem to magically light themselves, a reference to the prevalent blackouts in the Caribbean nation. The works are never circumscribed to any one time and place, and often play on a tension between opacity and legibility—a proxy for the indeterminacy of the shifting ground beneath migration and the inevitable fading of intergenerational memory.


Starting at the young age of fifteen, Brooklyn born photographer Jamel Shabazz identified early on the core subject of his lifelong investigation: the men and women, young and old, who invest the streets of New York with a high degree of theater and style, mixing traditions and cultures. Despite following a celebrated tradition of street photography that includes Gordon Parks, Garry Winogrand, and Lee Friedlander, it is to his credit that Shabazz has been one of the first photographers to realize the joyous, infectious potential of youth culture in neighborhoods such as Red Hook, Brownsville, Flatbush, Fort Greene, Harlem, Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the Grand Concourse section of the Bronx. A formidable archive of New York’s communities in the outer boroughs, this exhibition pays homage to Shabazz’s illustrious career of over forty years documenting the vibrant interaction of New Yorkers with their neighborhoods.



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