Gregorio Escalante is pleased to present original new works with celebrated artist, animator, writer, and director Jorge R. Gutierrez. Border Bang is a passionate love letter to the Tijuana and US border, documenting the bootleg artifacts sold to locals and tourists alike. Reappropriating the bombardment of pop culture images is the border’s reaction to global issues and events, telling viewers and consumers not to glorify these situations but rather to acknowledge them through their subversive presentation.
Border artisans and shysters digest the influx of international popular culture, reappropriating and reconfiguring images to express themselves and empower objects with subversive ideas masked underneath bold colors and text. Raised in Tijuana, Gutierrez crossed the border to the US to attend elementary and middle school. Each day, he was dazzled and entranced by the objects being sold, creating alternative narratives to the cartoon characters and celebrity portraits that he saw. Border Bang is a reflection of his childhood narrative, using images from Mickey Mouse to Tupac Shakur to convey the reflections and meditations of global events as witnessed by the border, exploring his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture.
After amassing a huge fandom internationally, Book of Life and Border Bang go hand in hand with Gutierrez’s passionate love affair with his home region on the border. The paintings in this exhibition are reminiscent of the concept artwork Gutierrez created for his feature film, playing with tropes of cultural appropriation and kitsch, pouring his heart and soul into both the production of the film and “Art of…” book. Border Bang will be opening concurrently with fellow Book of Life producer and artist Guillermo del Toro’s exhibition at LACMA.
Gregorio Escalante Gallery will also be offering a limited edition silkscreen print made specially for Border Bang available at the gallery on July 9th.
On Sunday, July 10 at 3:00pm, Gregorio Escalante Gallery will be hosting an artist talk with Jorge R. Gutierrez. Neighboring Good Luck Gallery will host an artist talk at 1:00pm, and there will be a curator’s talk at Coagula Curatorial at 2:00pm, so plan on having an afternoon in Chinatown!
About Jorge R. Gutierrez
Jorge R. Gutierrez is a Mexican animator, painter, writer, and director who, alongside his wife Sandra Equihua, created the Annie & Emmy Award-winning animated television series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon. While receiving his BFA and MFA from California Institute of the Arts in experimental animation, Gutierez created the short Carmelo which was screened internationally and won the 2001 student Emmy Award in animation. Most recently he co-wrote and directed the animated feature The Book of Life for Reel FX and 20th Century Fox, nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2014. While developing future projects, Gutierrez is currently in a torrid love affair with his first love: painting.