Koplin Del Rio
Apr 25, 2020 12:42PM

In the Studio with Einar & Jamex de la Torre

You live and work between San Diego and Mexico, where and how are you spending this time, and have you observed any major differences in the social climate in the two different places in dealing with the virus?

We do, and indeed there are differences. Einar is more in San Diego and goes 3-4 days down to Baja to spend time in the studio, Jamex spends more time in Baja as his son Nadir goes to school there. Mexico took longer to react to the pandemic and is handling it differently - they are now screening the entrance to Ensenada to keep folks from Tijuana and Mexicali from coming here in the hope to hole up in a favorable Airbnb.

What are you working on at the moment? Is the necessary solitude having an impact on your work and the way you are thinking about work?

We have not changed our work routine much - we work 'at home' and do not have a crew of workers. So it is a relatively normal routine - if anything, more focus in the studio as we cannot really travel and congregate. We are making pieces for this summer exhibition at Koplin Del Rio, and we also have some on-going public commissions plodding on.

Your upcoming exhibition is built around the relationship between humanity, and the natural environment, drawing parallels between old world paganism and modern environmental activism. Can you tell us more about this idea? Has this event helped shape thinking about this show?

Yes, this does seem like a case study on damaging the environment less. There are a few memes making fun of how we cannot stop the juggernaut economy to save the environment and then camecovidicus19- in biblical proportion. The 'back to nature' aspect is hopefully resonating in these uncertain times when everyone seems to be questioning many aspects of our Western condition.

Above, detail images of lenticular work 'Granada,' a work included inthe upcoming exhibition of the brothers' work at the gallery in July.

Can you both share a favorite work of art (realizing this is a difficult task) and describe your connection to it?

Indeed difficult, like a favorite color.

Einar: The Isenheim Altarpiece by Grünewald. I visited Alsace about a year ago and was staying with friends who insisted we (Chi and I) visit theMusée Unter Linden in Comar, as it contained the famous altar piece. It is a tour de force in painting narrative and fantastic characters, and a masterpiece in both composition and painting.

Jamex: Ernest Becker'sDenial of Death. It is a wonderful scientific-philosophical analysis of man's struggle to transcend death through culture.

Above, The Isenheim Altarpiece by Grünewald.

What books/ articles/ essays are you reading?

We both recently readThe Man Who Spoke Snakeishby Latvian author Andrus Kivirähk and it is directly related to the exhibitions theme on paganism in the Baltic region. LoveThe Atlantic, BBC,The New Yorker.

What are you listening to?

Enjoying a lot of music - Peter Cat Recording Company, The Shacks, Zoufris Maracas, Natalia Doco, Quantic, Franco & Tabu ley Rochereau, Bill Withers, C.W. Stoneking, Diego el Cigala - I can go on and on.

Podcasts:Radiolab,The Hidden Brain,Snap Judgement...

As for liquid inspiration, our studio is in the Baja wine region so we are drinking wine from our good friend's winery: Vinícola Retorno - Vino Boutique Mexicano.

Koplin Del Rio