|Opening Night Reception Saturday, December 22 from 6-8:30pm With Artists’ Talk at 6:30pm
“We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.” -‘Following the Equator’ by Mark Twain
St. Petersburg, FL—Artists and brothers Einar and Jamez de la Torre bring their inventive, irreverent, inspired glass and mixed media works—rife with tongue-in-cheek religious iconography and and pop-cultural references—to Mindy Solomon Gallery in ‘Home for the Holidays.’ The exhibition is on view from December 22, 2012-February 2, 2013, with an Opening Night Reception Saturday, December 22 from 6-8:30pm, and Artists’ Talk at 6:30pm.
Einar and Jamex de la Torre grew up in a strictly Catholic environment. At a young age, they moved from Guadalajara, Mexico to California. They decided early in life that the tenets of religious faith and the rules imposed by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church were not suitable for their spiritual interests. In their quest to become fully integrated into Southern Californian culture, the brothers would explore pop cultural references that would later become part of their unique visual narrative.
Animaluchadora, 2008, blown glass and mixed media, 40 x 15″
The blown and cast glass sculptural works featured in this program are largely taken from the de la Torres most recent 2012 exhibition at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. In addition to the museum works, the de la Torres’ recent explorations in digital art and mixed media round out ‘Home for the Holidays’ at Mindy Solomon Gallery. The works on display showcase the multiplicity of the brothers’ religious and political story, always with an eye toward humor. One example of note is the sculpture ‘Animaluchador’ (2008). In Spanish, ‘anima’ translates to souls burning, and ‘luchador’ means wrestler. The figure appears to be standing in a religious pose, but is wearing the costume of a wrestler. His body is engulfed in flames, while he stands astride a pop-cultural doll. The relationship between religious icon and heroic figure (masquerading as an object of significance) personifies the de la Torres’ irreverence for cultural iconography as nothing more than cartoon. This objectification of symbolic masculine and spiritual strength enables viewers to tackle their own senses of religious alienation with candor and humor.
Greed Talisman, 2005, blown and cast glass and mixed media, 48 x 48 x 7″
The brothers have also added elements of Eastern religion to their visual vocabulary. In ‘Greed Talisman’ (2005), the artists have created a mandala (meaning ‘circle’ in Sanskrit). In the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions, sacred art often takes a mandala form. The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates, surrounding a circle with a center point. ‘Greed Talisman’ connects historic religious imagery with common modern vice: the glass dominoes placed around the perimeter of the sculpture represent gambling, a combination of fate and skill. At the center point of the sculpture is an image of the devil with the words ‘green’ and ‘go’ in his eyes. When the two words are combined, they sound like ‘gringo,’ a pejorative term for whites in the Mexican vernacular. The de la Torres’ unique ability to combine multicultural elements within individual sculptures exemplifies the depth of their knowledge of―and innate disregard for―anything sacred. Perhaps this quality is most aptly displayed in a body of the de la Torres work called ‘Virgin Vaginas.’ These pudendal openings appear rich and vibrant, holding a plethora of sculptural imagery such as guns and mice, which belies the origins of the work.
La Liberte, 2010, glass and mixed media, 35 x 35 x 4″
Mindy Solomon Gallery presents ‘Home for the Holidays: The Inventive, Irreverent, Inspired Works of the de la Torre Brothers’ December 22, 2012-February 2, 2013. An Opening Night Reception takes place Saturday, December 22, from 6-8:30pm, with Artists’ Talk at 6:30pm. Mindy Solomon Gallery is located at 124 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-5pm. For more information, please contact the gallery at email@example.com or 727-502-0852, or visit the website at www.mindysolomon.com.