Annie Legnini is a 23 year old artist from The Bronx who creates mixed media portraits out of recycled materials and paint.
Bronx Faces is a collaborative community art project that pairs the stories and experiences of Bronx natives with a personalized mixed media painted portrait. This information is gathered through an ongoing open call with a fixed selection of questions for Bronx natives of varying backgrounds and generations. The interview answers are then paired with a painting of the interviewed Bronxite for a complete 'Bronx Face.' This is a project by a Bronx native for Bronx natives. Bronx Faces is incredibly personal storytelling. It documents the multitude of Bronx experiences through the contextual differences and intersections in time, culture, neighborhood, race, and class. The responses are unedited, thoughtful, difficult, honest, sweet, and funny. This project allows Bronx natives to document their own histories through an unfiltered tongue.
"One of the gems of growing up in the Bronx was the block parties. I remember this one day where they closed off the whole street because there was going to be a block party. It was summer and it was my first block party. While everyone was setting up for the party, me and my friends went on top of the roofs and started playing manhunt. We jumped from building to building, leaping over large gaps to prove our fearlessness and masculinity. We leaned over edge spitting loogies down at people. Then, the music began. We ran downstairs to find the block finally filled with people. The women on the block were serving people with food, the men sipping beer from their beach chairs, the children laughing and running wild in the streets, the music blasting - it kept on and on for hours. But that’s not where it stops. A little later in the night they brought down a wrench and opened the fire pump. Nobody had money for water parks so the pump was like our Dorney Park. So we jumped in and out of the water, running after our flip flops that got carried away by the stream. The older heads set up a table and started to play dominoes. The ladies sat in their circles and gossiped. The kids played. The music continued, the laughter continued, the excitement continued. Nothing ever stopped. Nothing died. That memory will never die.” -David/1993/194th and Kingsbridge
"The Bronx is a community. It bothers me so much when people fear the Bronx. What exactly are you fearing? There are families that live here - husbands, wives, children of all ages - future doctors, engineers, actors, dancers, musicians. Culture exists in the Bronx, a culture that cannot be cultivated anywhere else. In a way, I don't consider the Bronx to be a part of New York City. Language is different in the Bronx, I always find myself speaking differently with my high-school friends compared to my college friends. I find myself saying yo, odee, mad, ratchet, tight, trippin'. That's when I'm the real me. The Bronx is a beautiful place with its own demographics, culture, language, and society, and I am proud to be a part of that." -Fatama/1995/Grand Concourse
"The memory that stands out for me growing up in the Bronx is the Spanish music being played everyday. Either from the Bodega, my neighbors, or the cars chilling outside there was always music blasting. That summer when Gasolina came out was the craziest summer ever. It was like every block on Westchester Ave was having a party." -Edward/1990/Morrison Soundview Avenue