MATCH Dual Presence

33From February 15, 2006 to April 15, 2006

USC Fisher Gallery debuts Match dual presence, on February 15, 2006. The exhibition is on view through April 15, 2006. Organized by curator Olga Margarita Dvila from Artte.com, this is the first major United States solo exhibition of Mexican artist Demian Flores Cortes, who is regarded by many as one of the most exciting Mexican artists of his generation. Match dual presence is a contemporary art project that will simultaneously take place at the USC Fisher Gallery in Los Angeles and at the University Gallery of the Universidad Aut noma de Baja California, in Tijuana, Mexico.

Flores way of representing the world, both ancient and contemporary, makes him an artist from Oaxaca who both acknowledges his roots and transcends them in the manner as potentially significant as that of a Rufino Tamayo, a Rodolfo Morales, or a Francisco Toledo, states Fisher Gallery Director, Dr. Selma Holo. Deep intellectual and philosophical currents run throughout the dazzling display of artistic virtuosity that initially captivates the viewer.

A native of Oaxaca, Demin Flores Corts background stems from the Zapotec culture, the native culture of the Mesoamerican people living in Oaxaca State. In order to pursue studies in fine arts, Demin moved to Mexico City, where he became a sharp observer of socio-cultural phenomena: the loss of identity of the Mesoamericans due to a pervasive media invasion, and the profound infiltration of American culture via the innumerable migrant workers that travel north of the border. Demians work expresses his concerns about the survival of Zapotec roots in a world increasingly homogenized by globalization. At the same time, however, his art reflects upon the notion of mestizaje or the fusion of American and indigenous cultures in our time both in Mexico and the United States. Using symbols of popular culture, in particular sports such as baseball, lucha libre and street fighting, Flores piles up hybridized references and images by juxtaposing sports and potent political statements. As heir to the legacy of the Oaxacan painting tradition, Flores has achieved a body of work that feeds off the past from the standpoint of contemporary thought and philosophy.

The idea of cultural mestizaje is also mirrored by the simultaneous organization of these two sister exhibitions one at the University of Southern California Fisher Gallery in Los Angeles, and the other at University Gallery of the Universidad Aut noma de Baja California, in Tijuana, Mexico. These two exhibitions not only complement each other, but are also part of an artistic strategy that encompasses magazine inserts, public mural interventions in Los Angeles and Tijuana, artist talks, wrestling matches and more. Match dual presence is a wide-range contemporary art project aiming to create a bridge between cultures in a time when differences are seen as an obstacle rather than as an enriching resource.

About the Artist

Born in Oaxaca in 1971, Demin Flores lives and works in Mexico City. He graduated from the National School of Plastic Arts of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His solo and group exhibitions include international shows in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bologna and several cities in Mexico.