GuaraVans – Huaraches in Art

Ulises Matamoros Ascención is said to be one of a few Contemporary Mexican Artists that explore and express indigenous themes in art.

Indigenous themes in Contemporary Mexican Art are often avoided, because they are seen to relate to the Muralist Art Movement from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The exact reasons for this I don’t yet know, but I suspect it might be the strong nationalistic message of the Mexican Muralist Movement which many indigenous groups don’t identify with, or the inaccurate representations of liberated indigenous people common on Mexican Murals from the 20’s and 30’s.

Exploring the value of symbol, in his work titled ‘Guaravans’ from 2009, Ulises Matamoros Ascención compares Huaraches with branded sneakers. He explains that both have the same value in use, but that Huaraches do not have a symbolic value like branded sneakers, especially in indigenous cultures where they are primarily used.

Ulises Matamoros Ascención-GuaraVans – 2009

Guaravans also expresses the notion that within a capitalist culture things no longer have a connection with their functional origin, claiming that “nothing is real, everything is hyper”. Essentially that nothing is authentic. His perspective reminds me of my often mentioned Malcolm Mclaren’s social critique on ‘authenticity vs a karaoke culture’.

For more information visit Arte Ulises Matamoros



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