Jesús “Bubu” Negrón’s work ranges from simple gestures to site-specific interventions to labor-intensive manual work, comprising a conceptual and self-reflective practice that makes no clear distinctions between art and life. In his sculptural practice, Negrón appropriates and assimilates vernacular artistic languages, in particular folk traditions of Afro-Caribbean origin, where the craftsmanship has been for the most part passed on through oral histories. Colillones de colilla (Cigarette Butts Made Out of Cigarette Butts) is an ongoing project started in 2002, in which Negrón handpicks cigarette butts off the streets in different cities and uses them to create large-scale representations of the material collected. Referencing local crafts made with everyday and discarded materials, the work brings attention to notions of waste and consumer culture while drawing parallels between the mass produced and the handmade.
Jesús “Bubu” Negrón: City Cigarette Butts is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates, Assistant Curator. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Alan and Rebecca Ross endowed exhibitions fund and the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.