Born in Los Angeles in 1976, Eduardo Sarabia obtained a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles and now lives and works in Los Angeles, Guadalajara and Berlin.
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 artist has published several exhibition catalogues and undertaken international projects including Salon Aleman, for the 21c Museum’s 3rd Annual Pajama Party, June 2008, Louisville, Kentucky and Salon Aleman, organized by Eduardo Sarabia in collaboration with unitednationsplaza, Berlin, Germany, 2006-2007.
Recently Sarabia has partaken in numerous international group shows, including I Love New York, I-20 Gallery, New York, USA, 2001; OIL, Triangle Project Space, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 2004; Poles Apart Poles Together. (Curated by Juan Puntes and Doron Polak), 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2005; Body and Geography, (curated by Jeanette Zwingenberger) Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France, 2006 and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include Project Room: Eduardo Sarabia. (Curated by Ciara Ennis). Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, California, USA, 2002; Eduardo Sarabia/Eric Wesley, Sutton Lane, London, UK, 2003; Art Nova, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, Florida, USA (I-20), 2005 and 2006; Museo Raúl Anguiano, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2008 and History of the World-Eduardo Sarabia, LA Louver, Los Angeles, USA, 2008.
An exhibition of new works by the Eduardo Sarabia, at Other Criteria New York from June 3rd to July 5th. More information on our blog.
May 9, 2013May is for Mexico
The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) presents a solo exhibition of Mexican artist Eduardo Sarabia. The exhibition, Tainted, is presented in conjunction with a new program series, Huevos Revueltos, which focuses on contemporary Mexican art and culture. Eduardo Sarabia will curate the program and be in residence at the museum throughout the month of May. In addition, Sarabia will be the guest of honor at the museum’s annual Nueve de Mayo fundraiser on Thursday, May 9, 2013. MCA Denver is proud to present this trio of events which showcase leading creative work from Mexico in music, food and contemporary art throughout the month of May.
Eduardo Sarabia’s Tainted features a series of paintings of everyday images covered with daubs of coloured paint. The images, which appear to be family snapshots, often show people in the sunshine, near the water, looking as if they might be smiling for the camera. However, it is impossible to tell for certain because the faces are obscured with swirls of paint. Interestingly, the clouds of paint covering the images somehow manage to be obstructive without being discordant. The color palette of the splotches matches that of the photos it obscures. They are paintings on paintings–illustrating the duality of reality and illusion–as relevant to life as it is to art.
The title of Eduardo Sarabia’s work at Art Public references the identity cards stored with archeological objects. In this case the ‘archeological’ object is a snake-skinned boot which can be related to a drug lord, referencing the drug conflicts in (Northern) Mexico. The artwork only hints at the drug trafficking conflicts. A pair of snake skin boots can be perceived as an identifier of a powerful outlawed class, directly related to a much bigger and more complex political situation. The artist creates fake evidence of an unfolding event, in a commemorating and somehow mocking way. The viewer must enter the artist’s fantastic realm in order to understand the information found in documentation and the communicating power of certain objects.
June 25, 2010INSTORE: 18 With a Bullet
Come see all of Eduardo Sarabia 18 With a Bullet vases in our New Bond Street store 25th June - 23rd July 2010.
As the creator of fake evidence for his staged, semi-fictional events, Eduardo Sarabia places himself within a tradition of contemporary artists who mine culture for their performance-based satire. In the postmodern, mixed-media mode of Cameron Jamie, Sarabia invents scenarios that he participates in and creates documentation for, commemorating the event's unfolding. Handcrafted ceramic objects, drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculptures transform the exhibition space into a site for storytelling where viewers must suspend disbelief to enter the artist's fantastic, romanticized realm. These theatrical situations revolve around Sarabia's Latino heritage, which he both honors and mocks through his investigation of Mexican cultural clichés about drug smuggling, banditry, and the import/export of tawdry contraband.
Sarabia's love of Mexican folklore is implicit in the creation of his own personalized mythologies. At New York’s I-20 Gallery in 2003, he presented documentation from a real-life expedition he launched outside Mazatlán to hunt for Pancho Villa's gold, following in his grandfather’s footsteps. In a 2006 show at I-20 Gallery, Sarabia further pushed his interest in evidence and its exhibition by removing the performative aspect of his project, leaving only the materials confiscated at the fictional bust of an international ceramics smuggling ring. A large chromogenic print, Puerto Vallarta (2004), reveals Sarabia dressed as a smuggler deboarding a private plane with his girlfriend, pet tiger, and crates that, innocuously labeled “avocados,” “karaoke system,” and “bananas,” imply a less innocent cargo. An installation titled A Thin Line between Love and Hate (2005) juxtaposed shipping boxes screenprinted with benign phrases and pictures describing the produce ostensibly inside (“Maizena,” "Producto de Colima") and the containers’ "real" contents--blue-and-white Chinese-styled vases bearing imagery of pinup girls, marijuana leaves, rifles, and skulls. Replacing site-specific engagement, the installation implied that reality is determined by its physical artifacts.
Through the fall of 2006 and the following spring and summer, coinciding with Berlin's World Cup soccer festivities, Sarabia engaged an entirely different “reality” by hosting Salon Alemán, a sporadically open bar at local seminar/residency program unitednationsplaza. This series of parties, at which patrons drank the artist’s Sarabia tequila, played on the stereotype of Latinos as a cantina-dwelling, soccer-obsessed population while reminding attendees that third-world poverty, exemplified by rural agave farming and the tequila it produces, is exacerbated by the first-world market economy. By encouraging an "unproductive" endeavor as he promoted his own product, he also more eloquently questioned art's market value. Sarabia's narrative concepts, defined by the tangible and intangible, contain a hearty dose of humor and absurdity that both lightens his political messages and reinforces the importance of understanding the physical and human consequences of economic forces.