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The Afterlives of Ismael Rivera: Music Inspired by El Sonero Mayor

by Christopher López

The Afterlives of Ismael Rivera: Music Inspired by El Sonero Mayor is a 40-page book of multi-color risograph printed photographs by Puerto Rican-American Bronx-born photo-based artist Christopher López. The publication's images are based on the songs of Afro-Puerto Rican musician Ismael Rivera. These images capture fragments of time—like Rivera's lyrics themselves—that offer a symbology of a people (Puerto Ricans) whose identities are found in constant flux. López's art practice focuses on the exploration of diminishing histories; his photographs celebrate the richness of culture, portraying the complexities of identity both on and off the island. The Afterlives of Ismael Rivera explores the visual properties of music and song by interpreting lyricism, its raw power, socio-political significance, and its intrinsic bond to quotidian experience in the lives of Puerto Rican people.

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Softcover saddle-stitched, multi-color risograph, 10 in. x 8 in., edition 200, 40 pages, 2022

Published by Arca Press, an imprint of MSU Press

© CHRISTOPHER LÓPEZ