Torres, Rigoberto (Robert)
- Deborah Cullen
(b Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 1960).
Puerto Rican sculptor, active in the USA. Torres created plaster and fiberglass casts from life, depicting people in their communities. These include portrait busts, figurative tableaux, freestanding figures, and major outdoor murals. Torres worked both independently and in collaboration with John Ahearn (b 1951), with whom he regularly partnered from 1980.
When Torres was 4, his family moved to upper Manhattan and then to the Bronx. Torres began his art practice in 1979 at age 18 while working in a family factory casting religious statues. He visited Fashion Moda, an alternative space in the South Bronx. There, he met John Ahearn, who was making plaster body casts of neighborhood people. Torres became one of Ahearn’s subjects, and Torres’s first heads were cast there and exhibited alongside Ahearn’s. Torres convinced Ahearn to move to Walton Avenue in 1980, where they worked closely with the community. That year they participated in the historic Times Square Show. Between ...