Paul Ramírez Jonas
Paul Ramírez Jonas was born in Pomona, California in 1965 and raised in Honduras. Educated at Brown University (BA, 1987) and Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 1989), Ramírez Jonas, currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Over the last twenty-five years Ramírez Jonas has created works that range from large-scale public installations and monumental sculptures to intimate drawings, performances and videos. Through his practice he seeks to challenge definitions of art and the public, engineering active audience participation and exchange. For example, his 2010 Creative Time project, Key to the City, involved 20,000 participants and centered around a key as a vehicle for exploring social contracts pertaining to trust, access, and belonging. Keys have featured repeatedly in his work as symbols of access and exclusion as well as public and private ownership. Multiples based on everyday objects such as coins also are a reoccurring motif, allowing the artist to question notions of value, circulation, and societal rituals or behaviors. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hunter College, where he has been since 2007, and is represented Galeria Nara Roesler in Sao Paulo.
Paul Ramírez Jonas’ imagines his ‘Eternal Flame’ monument as a communal grill. The form honors the role of cuisine and cooking in cultural cohesion and expression among immigrant communities and identities. ‘Eternal Flame’ is designed to invite dialogue and exchange. Ramírez Jonas imagines cooking culture as a symbolic eternal flame, enduring in communities for generations.