The sarape, commonly known as the Mexican blanket, is a international symbol for the Latin American country. In much of the southern US too, this rainbow colored textile has been an ubiquitous element of the region, seen as decoration, clothing, and as a stylish covering for many an old car seat. Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza has been transforming this popular item, unraveling it and transforming the multi-colored weave into geometric string art. In most of his works a blanket hangs nearby, giving its thread to the newly imagined form.
Esparza grew up in El Paso, daily interacting with the blankets and while he started his art career as a painter, it was only later that he realized the painterly aspects of the sarape.[see_also]
El Paso is one of the most bi-national regions of the US, with many people commuting daily over the border to and from Juarez. Esparza’s work reflects the shift in identity that many Mexican Americans experience as they migrate from one nation to the other. For more information on his work, see taubertcontemporary.com.
If you’re in New York City, be sure to check out Esparza’s work at Cindy Rucker Gallery through January 26th.
Below, a preview for Esparza’s piece “Wake and Wonder” showing at the Americana exhibition at Pérez Art Museum Miami through May 1, 2015.