Eduardo Sarabia's new exhibition ‘Ballads’ consists of one wool tapestry and a new series of paper diorama boxes. Sarabia is known for creating fake evidence for semi-fictional events, using performance, drawing, painting, ceramics, photographs and sculpture to document events and ideas. His Latino heritage is an influence in his work, with its cultural symbols appearing throughout.
The wool tapestry is inspired by the "narcomantas", which are crudely made coded messages hung on public areas in Mexico by gangs and drug cartels. Usually spray paint on a bed sheet type of thing. Sometimes the messages try to justify an event or even further explain an action of terror. Sometimes the cartels get blamed for something they didn't do in the media and this is their platform to give their side of the story. Sometimes they're just plain warnings to rival gangs. In this style and aesthetic Sarabia wanted to bring forward positive messages. Using the power of fascination with this phenomenon the artist has been working with a tapestry studio to make these works. Each is made by hand and takes about 2 months to weave. Like his ceramics, Sarabia enjoys working with artisans in a collaborative process.
Also in the exhibition are a new series of paper diorama boxes. These are inspired by the designs in Sarabia's more commonly known work. Blue and white is a color scheme the artist uses and continued for this body of work. The works are 3 dimensional in custom made boxes. All the elements are painted in blue acrylic and and cut out to make the diorama box. The designs maintain a similar line based on his ceramic vases, but part from the traditional decorative craft "Papel Picado" (perforated paper), which he takes one step further transforming from 2D to 3D.
Eduardo Sarabia was born in 1976 in Los Angeles, California. He received his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 1999. He currently resides and continues his activities as an artist in Guadalajara, Mexico. He frequently works with the materials favored by local craftspeople, using ceramic tiles, hand-woven textiles, and glass to create sculptures and installations that address the complex social, cultural and material exchanges—social, cultural, and material—that occur when this region and its history encounters outsiders. Mixing romantic visual narratives in regards to illegal matter, fine arts and commerce, creating an environment that slips between the oneiric and the openly materialistic, Sarabia’s work takes on an important exploration of understanding the physical and human consequences of economic forces.