Enrique Flores (b. 1954)
Enrique Flores comes out of Mexico’s internationally renowned Oaxacan school. Printmaking and folk art play an important role in his own art, as Flores’ work illustrates myths, whimsical stories and char-acters engaged in aspects of daily life. And like so many of his peers, his palette reflects the bright, intense colors that form part of everyday life in this mountainous region.
Bicycles and Constellations
is a great example of how Enrique Flores narrates the stories of his native Oaxaca. The lone pair of bicycles at night near a bed of flowers creates an idyllic view of rural Mexican life, but it is in the constellation overhead where the universal story is revealed. The secret evening encounter of these two lovers is as timeless as the stars themselves. It’s a story that takes place the world over.
Many ancient indigenous concepts and beliefs emerge in the mythical narratives of Flores’ paintings. In The Dead Turtle
for example, we can see how the cycle of life is a fundamental theme that turns up time and again in Oaxacan art. The dual nature of life and death, the beginning and the end, is present in the dead turtle lying next to her eggs. The elements of water and earth reiterate this duality in their very “yin-yang” composition, creating a border where two worlds meet. The animal inhabitants of the three worlds (sea, land and sky) are there as if to witness the passing from one world into another, as the turtle has returned to her place of origin in order to complete the cycle of life.