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Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros — Mexico has amazing artists who are well-known the world over. But a lot has happened in the Mexican art scene of late. If you claim to be an art lover, here are seven contemporary Mexican artists you must know.
Osorno’s inspiration comes from his own queer sexuality and paper — lots of paper. And his work often transforms the paper in surprising ways, including making it look like metal. While Osorno has many gay-themed works, he also enjoys playing with symbols like birds, leaves and flowers. While most of his work has been white (with a few dalliances with black, silver and gold paper), Orsorno’s new work involves neon colors. It’s rumored he may even start working with other kinds of material, including wallpaper.
Rodríguez’s speciality is color and interior design. Like Orsono, she also loves paper — but as a canvas for shiny colors, geometric figures and sublimely tiny details. You’ll find her work on walls, of course, but also on couches and cushions. (But don’t let your guests sit on them!)
3. Aldo Islas
Islas’s work speaks to the animal lover in everyone. His majestically posed subjects — be they insects, cats or dogs — deeply gaze into the viewer’s eyes in a way that seems almost human. (Though that might be helped along by the fact that Islas dresses his models with flowers, hats and jewelry.) And while they’re always animals, there’s a very clear sense of Mexican identity in his work.
Sama’s work combines elements of kitsch, surrealism and pop art. It might make you feel a little dizzy, as he loves playing with 3-D techniques, but his art is always fun. He usually includes elements like bears, bees and, in the piece we’ve featured, flamingos with human legs. His work often features bright colors, but they always work in harmony, never clashing.
5. Jorge Marín
Marín may be the best sculpture artist currently working in Mexico. He translates amazing male models into gorgeous metalwork, and his work usually features models taking their bodies to the limit. Marín then makes the already impressive poses even more fantastic by adding wings and masks. By hiding his models’ expressions, there’s an intrigue that draws the viewer in.
6. Alonso Cartú
One word describes the work of Alonso Cartú: glamorous. His Asian-inspired work combines disparate elements from across cultures. One porcelain piece depicts a polka-dotted skull with Mickey Mouse ears crying golden tears. It may be a little creepy to keep in your bedroom, but it’s perfect for a living room in desperate need of sophistication.
Puig is one of the premier Mexican photographers working today. Her work displays classic mythological characters like Adam and Eve, but updated with modern beauty standards and fashion. Her gorgeous models take us back to the ancient stories that shaped our culture — and they’re so striking we never want to return.
(Featured image by Jorge Marín)