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Fútbol:The Beautiful Game opens at LACMA

Andres Escobar SerigraphAndres Escobar Serigraph

I'm excited to announce that one of my pieces will be up at LACMA as part of the upcoming exhibition Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, which opens on February 2, 2014. Curated by Franklin Sirmans, Fútbol examines the sport's global impact on politics and art, as well as the unique forms of nationalism the beautiful game incites (and enables) in cultures across the world. My own contribution was the result of a very special collaboration between LACMA and Self Help Graphics & Art, where five artists were invited to develop limited-edition serigraphs by Self Help Graphics' Executive Director Evonne Gallardo. After creating the initial design, I worked with master printer Joe Alpuche and SHG's very own Joel Garcia to develop the film, edit it, color match the inks, and print the edition.

The other artists in Self Help's limited edition series include Amitis Motevalli, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Dewey Tafoya, and Ana Serrano. All great artists that I'm glad to be associated with!

My own print focuses on Colombian soccer player Andrés Escobar, who scored an auto-goal in the 1994 World Cup that eliminated Colombia from the competition. The match was against the US men's national team, and was played here at Los Angeles' own Rose Bowl.

Upon his return to Colombia, Andrés was shot dead outside of a popular nightclub by persons who may (or may not?) have been associated with gambling and drug cartels. Part "fan" banner, and part memorial to Andrés, the piece explores the overlap between the worlds of soccer and narco-trafficking in Colombia. Its colors are taken from the Colombian flag and football kit, while the imagery is taken from Colombia's "natural" landscape - birds, drug-producing plants, and, of course, doomed football stars. Overall, I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to make this piece and show it in this show, as it extends two ongoing bodies of work of mine: Asesinados United and Garden Heads. Asesinados United is a mixed media work that uses t-shirts to remember murdered and assassinated footballers. In Garden Heads, potentially decapitated male heads float in tropical landscapes in watercolor and pastel drawings that remix portraiture and botanical illustration, while reconsidering the usually "hard" documentary imagery coming out of the drug war. Overall, I'm deeply interested in finding new ways to depict and think about the toll the drug wars have had on not just people, but the natural environment in which the drugs themselves are cultivated.

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