San Ysidro, California
orn in Guadalajara and educated in Southern California, brothers and collaborators Einar and Jamex de la Torre cull and transform imagery from both American and Mexican culture. The inspiration for this exhibition, titled “Whysidro,” came from the low-profile town of San Ysidro, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
The duo’s flame-worked glass sculptures and reliefs are beautiful but jarring. El Posolero (2014), for example, a figure stirring a cauldron-like vessel, shares its name with a notorious member of a Tijuana drug cartel, who dissolved 300 bodies in industrial drums.
In addition to their glass works, the de la Torres have recently been creating lenticular photocollages. In Border Park of Earthly Delights (2014), they transplanted imagery from Hieronymus Bosch’s most famous painting to the beaches of Tijuana. Bosch’s suffering figures seem perfectly at home in this surreal landscape, which is bisected by a steel barrier extending into the ocean.
Conjoining the humorous and the horrific was the 2014 photocollage The Jungle, in which a river of meat and viscera moves north, becoming transformed into cuts laid in Styrofoam butchers’ trays and neatly sealed with plastic wrap. Like the show as a whole, it suggested that this border region continues to defy rational explanation, which makes it rich territory for these gifted artists.
A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 123.