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Latino Daily News

Saturday June 28, 2014

Mexican-American Artist Shows Influence of Drug Trafficking on Pop Culture

Mexican-American Artist Shows Influence of Drug Trafficking on Pop Culture

Photo: Eduardo Sarabia

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Photos, sculptures and drawings make up a retrospective exhibit in Guadalajara of works by artist Eduardo Sarabia, which explores how references to violence and drug trafficking have permeated Mexican popular culture.

“It is something that is translating into popular culture, into the music and the way people dress, but is only mentioned in passing or is not spoken of at all,” the artist, born in Los Angeles of Mexican parents, told Efe.

The exhibition at Guadalajara’s Cabañas Institute includes ceramics that adopt the Mexican artisanal technique of glazing with a white base and vitreous finish, but on which can be seen such images as marijuana leaves and AK-47 assault rifles, the weapon of choice for Mexican cartels.

Several works by Sarabia, who has lived in Guadalajara for the past 10 years, repeat images of the coolers used by the Oxxo chain of self-service stores.

“It was when I returned to Mexico that heads were being found in these Oxxo boxes, in the mountains,” the artist said.

“It was such a grotesque image, as if chaos had never reached such levels, and I imagined what it would be like if I went into the jungle and found coolers like that,” he said.

Also on show are sculptures of weapons cast from the originals, of life-size cops and armed peasants, as well as an installation video showing the chapel in the northwestern city of Culiacan dedicated to “Malverde,” known as the saint of drug traffickers.

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