Some days you ask for milk and sugar in your coffee. Other days you forgo routine, delve into your Mexican heritage, learn how to blow glass, start up an incendiary artistic team with your brother and have your art in the private collections of Cheech Marin, Elton John and the like. At least, that is the series of whimsical events that brought us artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre, whose eye-catching and explosive exhibit “Borderlandia: Cultural Topography” is currently on display at the Crafts and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.

This exhibit explores what it means to have an identity in the plural, a personal hyphenation as someone who lives in Southern California but has ties to the language, history, ancestry and culture of somewhere else, somewhere just across the border. Artists Eeinar and Jamex de la Torre propose a witty and visually explosive display of the essence of these “fringe people” – people straddling the border, caught in the duality of two cultures – by borrowing images of the ancient Mayan temples, Aztec mandalas, religious iconography, and accenting them with trinkets purchased at dollar stores and curious miscellaneous bric-a-brac found underneath your couch. Most of the pieces in this exhibit are freestanding, pedestal and wall mounted sculptures that take time -honored images of sacred origin and fearlessly juxtapose them with everyday commercialism and the commonplace – a risky and bold move, both culturally and visually. These artists take the vibrant colors, dramatic shapes and iconic images of South America and propose a curious hybrid for the intellectual audience to digest. This exhibit presents a melting pot of the seriousness of South American tradition and the low-brow of American consumerism, a geopolitical baseline to the Los Angeles symphony.

“We’re very comfortable with the baroque and quite uninterested in minimalism.”-Einar and Jamex de la Torre

This exhibit will be on display until January 9, 2011. General admission is $7, free for members. Museum closed Mondays.

For more information on this exhibit, please visit the Crafts and Folk Art Museum website.

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