Prickly Pear Don’t Care


Salvador Jiménez-Flores
Nopales híbridos: An Imaginary World of a Rascuache-Futurism, 2017
Terra cotta, porcelain, underglazes, gold luster, and terra cotta slip

When Jiménez-Flores moved to the United States he spoke limited English. Art became his primary method of communication and means of commemorating his heritage. His practice prioritizes the depiction of Latinx people to ensure their representation in art for future generations. The “Nopales” series (nopales is Spanish for “prickly-pear cacti”) uses humor to challenge existing Latinx stereotypes in the United States. Likenesses of the artist, wearing shiny sunglasses and sticking out his tongue, are portrayed on cactus pads made of terra cotta and porcelain. This irreverent aesthetic references the work of Robert Arneson, father of funk ceramics, and also draws on the rich history of portraiture in Latin American visual culture, from Frida Kahlo’s paintings to Peruvian Moche vessels. The nopal, notable for its resilience in extreme conditions, is an important icon in Mexican culture—so much so that it is emblazoned on the country’s flag. For the artist, the cactus’s endurance symbolizes hope for the future.

Amber Cowan
Dance of the Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset, 2019, Flameworked American pressed glass
Snail Passing Through the Garden of Inanna, 2019, Flameworked American pressed glass

Two of the finalists for the Burke Prize 2019, in recognition of an artist’s extraordinary achievement in craft.

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

December 26th, 2019


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