Border Crossings: Mexico/USA
By Margaret Failoni
The Border Crossings exhibition is born from the desire to present exciting art created by young emerging artists from both sides of the border, to an ever wider audience, and what better venue than an international art fair.
Tony Karman, the director of Chicago Expo was quickly open to the idea as was Carlos Tortolero, the President of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. What the curators for the exhibition had in mind was to juxtapose the art from both sides of the border and see what they have in common or not, what their inspiration is and of course, present quality, affordable art to an ever growing world of young collectors. From the Mexican side of the border, the six artists chosen by Curator Margaret Failoni, were chosen for their undeniable talent and the diversity of their styles and mediums, mirroring the rich and exciting panorama found in todays young Mexican art scene.
Alejandra Mendoza and Leonardo Díaz both come from a street art background, but their style and message is totally different. Mendoza prefers the arte povera use of ephemeral materials to illustrate the prevalent use of Social Media amongst todays youth. Díaz, on the other hand, is a painter who started doing murals on city walls to later bring the heady combination of sexuality and violence gleaned from his urban experience, onto canvas. Daniela Edburg is that unusual combination of photographer/sculptor, creating surreal scenes in which she knits or crochets objects later photographed within the created scenario and often presented as sculpture accompanying the photographs. Daniela Libertad on the other hand, works in extreme minimalism in which drawing, photography and/or sculpted objects can be used in installations dealing with space, balance and measure. Francisco (Paco) Esnayra is a classical sculptor working in ceramics, resins and/or bronze, but uses his sculptural dexterity as a critique with what ails present day society from self medication to love substitutes. Jayden Romay is the youngest of the group and perhaps the most unusual. He invents machines and techniques which allow him to create art with the use of electricity, lightening, water, combustion and air, all elements found in nature, which he recreates and modulates to conform to his artistic needs.
Few of todays younger generation artists in Mexico feel the need to cull from their national roots, but instead, feel the limitless boundaries at their disposal thanks to the globalisation in todays art world. They compete internationally and are considered as artists in the full sense of the word without a national name-tag. And yet, there is no doubt that the rich diversity in todays multicultural Mexico is the humus from which they spring.