mexican

SAM FLORES

(1975, New Mexico, US)

Flores grew up immersed in the vastness of the Southwestern desert, spending his time as a youth skating, drawing and honing his graffiti skills (his moniker being Tiger).

He is uniquely noted for being an autodidact, or self taught artist, having no formal institutional training. Sam eventually landed in the Bay Area in the late 90's drawn to it's Bohemian lifestyle and also the promise it held for him to develop his career as a commercial artist. Ever since, Flores has enjoyed an incredible career, developing a passionate fan base while advancing his talent through an ever changing subject matter, often juxtaposed with that of his peer urban contemporary artists, namely because of the presence of themes rarely seen in such genres such as innocence, feminine, natural beauty and melancholy sentiments.

Flores' subject matter includes a myriad of anthropomorphic characters and beautiful goddesses with styles being inspired by Japanese Edo period influenced landscapes, urban contemporary/ graf inspired montages, pop-surrealist environments and his most recent works which are inspired by Mexican pulp comic art and classical portraiture.

Sam currently creative directs his brand Twelve Grain for Upper Playground, the "12" representing his original crew in Albuquerque and the "Grain" representing the role that nature has played in work and life.

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DATE FARMERS

(California, US)

The Date Farmers are Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramírez. The artwork by The Date Farmers echoes Mexican-American heritage rooted in California pop culture. Their paintings, collages and three-dimensional sculptures contain elements influenced by graffiti, Mexican street murals, traditional revolutionary posters, sign painting, prison art and tattoos. Living in the peaceful seclusion of the desert, the artists often travel across the border, into Mexicali and Oaxaca to scavenge for materials. With traces of ancient indigenous art, mushrooms, and mescal, the Date Farmers combine familiar pop iconography and corporate logos with figures from comics, folklore and Catholicism. Desert creatures such as coyotes, snakes, and scorpions appear frequently in their works as well as found materials like stamps, bottle caps, hand painted or collaged lettering.

The Date Farmers have a history that is just as compelling as their artwork. Originally from Indio, California, they met at an art gallery in Coachella Valley ten years ago. Marsea Goldberg of New Image Art gave them their first show, naming them The Date Farmers because Armando’s father owned a Date Farm in Coachella where Carlos worked, picking dates. Carlos’ mother was a migrant who once worked with civil rights leader Cesar Chavez -American activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers- during the grape boycott of the 1970s. Through their unique perspective as American-born Chicanos, The Date Farmers explore topical subjects with a profound simplicity.

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