Monclova, Mexico, 1975. Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico
Exploración Botánica (Jalisco) VIII, s/f
Metal dust on canvas
23.6 X 17.55 in
Although many of Mario García Torres’s works have addressed little known episodes of contemporary art, lately he has grown more interested in disciplines like ethnography and archaeology, demonstrating a close concern with the history of the spaces that he visits during his fieldwork.
Exploración botánica is a project he developed specifically in the agave fields of Jalisco as part of an invitation from the tequila producer José Cuervo. It is made up of a series of paintings that together form a sort of catalog of the plants native to the Jaliscan landscape around the town of Tequila. These paintings were made by means of the natural process of metal dust oxidizing on canvas. In order to achieve this stamping effect, García Torres placed previously selected plants on the canvas and poured metal dust on top of them. This process transformed the image into a negative; the colors were reversed and what got left behind was the plant’s silhouette.
García Torres is interested in reconfiguring the landscape of a product whose global distribution modifies and transforms a certain identity and cultural code of the category of Mexicanness. Starting out from his fieldwork, the artist stimulates the spectator to be part of a more rural exploration, attached to the essence of such a national product as this.