July 9- August 14, 2016
Closing reception : August 6 (5:00-8:00 pm)
Gregorio Escalante Gallery
978 Chung King Road
Los Angeles, CA
"Scarface was my Star Wars"
by Sandra Vista
"Un hijo de norte america", Jorge began his education crossing the Tijuana frontera at the age of nine. In San Diego he became "George". Not speaking a word of English, he said a nun (parochial school) told him he would no longer be called "Jorge". He said Cal Arts freed him to become "Jorge" again. Jorge's story is a bullet train of nature and nurture. He was fortunate to have parents that were supportive of his creativity. Funds were limited in the beginning of his college career so there was no time to waste. A strong work ethic developed by necessity and creative drive have produced a lucrative career in his field of animation. Currently, his animated feature, "The Book of Life" has garnered Jorge creative acclaim.
Jorge's current exhibition is his first solo show in a gallery setting. Gregorio Escalante was introduced to Jorge's work while on a flight from Spain. He felt compelled to look him up and give him a solo show. True to his strong work ethic, Jorge began working on his paintings on a nightly basis. What started off as nine paintings became 57. The paintings are autobiographical interpretations of Jorge's virtues. Each painting illuminates a life lesson-many focusing on familial advise. There is the allegory for "El Ultimo Super Macho", which was dispensed by his "Abuelito" distinguishing between a non-violent/faithful man and a reactive/unfaithful man. Jorge describes it as Mexican Zen. Abuelito bravely confessed that he was the latter-"Macho" not "Super Macho". Jorge is aspiring to become "El Ultimo Super Macho". Jorge is a family man with Sandra, a lovely wife/creative partner and Luka, a young artistic son. His son Luka was included as part of the creative process by helping with the portrait of "Che" named "Presidente de Urban Outfitters". Mexican Zen being channeled through generations, Luka's touch is more minimal.
Presidente de Urban Outfitters
Jorge, Sandra, Luka
Jorge is an exemplary model of the creative energy of the Mexican-American borderline/ la frontera/the frontier. Jorge uses the word "bootleg" for the art work, curios, tee shirts, music, CD/DVD's that are copied and sold by frontera entrepreneurs trying to appeal to the American market and the Mexicans trying to live the American life. "Bootleg" is a form of deciphering, interpreting, and feeling what is being experienced by the people living near that border. Jorge was a time traveler on a daily basis between Tijuana and San Diego. Because of his creative mind he has been able to absorb information visually and emotionally. An obvious example are the bold colors in his paintings: chile red, mango orange, pineapple and canary yellow. Respectfully, and trying to remain authentic to the local artisans, Jorge used house paint as the medium for his paintings. Also, true to form, he substituted a paint color when the original one was depleted. So a red apple may wind up being a blue apple-more Mexican Zen.
One of Jorge's defining quotes: "Scarface was my Star Wars", encapsulates his youth in a "pop-nostalgic" manner. Since l983 "Scarface" the movie and its anti-hero/hero Tony Montana, has continued to evolve into the ultimate immigrant story that epitomizes bravery, survival, diligence, crime, murder, and abstracted adaption. Through his paintings Jorge communicates his experiences with frontera colloquials/Spanglish like "Escarface" for "Scarface" and "Bobesponja" for "Sponge Bob". Also relevant is the work of an educated man. His Cal Arts education, has become a vital component to Jorge's success. The paintings include art historical references of Aztec glyphs, Dia de los Muertos symbolism, combined with crown references to Basquiat.
Alfred Korzybski said: "The map is not the territory." Jorge is a man that moves the boundaries and demonstrates community, brotherhood, interconnection, ancestry, and love. A perfect example was during the opening night of the exhibition when a young girl came to the show dressed in the "Dia de los Muertos" costume from "The Book of Life". Jorge Gutierrez-
El Ultimo Super Macho...
Antonio Raimundo Tony Montana 2016 (16"x 20")
Ese Mi Bob 2016 (16" x 20")
Gregorio Escalante, Jorge Guiterrez, and Dia de los Muertos
Jorge Gutierrez and Sandra Vista