The de la Torre brothers combine exquisitely ornate blown and flame-worked glass works with cheap, mass-produced knickknacks, plastic flowers, fake fur, painted coins, and other found objects. Their art is a skillful combination of disparate elements, appropriating content, meaning, and materials from both high and low cultures.
This intersection of contrasting elements reflects their dual residence in Mexico and the United States. The de la Torres describe themselves as "Mexican-American bicultural artists," influenced by "the morbid humor of Mexican folk art, the absurd pageantry of Catholicism, and machismo" on the one hand, and fascinated by "the American culture of excess" on the other.
These artists do not hesitate to confront preconceived notions about artistic materials, cultural identity, and political borders. Dividing their time between the studios they share in San Diego and San Antonio de las Minas, they cross the international border several times a week, which provides them with a "parallel appreciation of both cultures." Their status as both insider and outsider, neither Mexican nor American, underpins their artistic discourse.
Einar and Jamex de la Torre includes an essay on the artists' work by Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, and an original interview with the artists by Gronk, a Los Angeles-based artist best known for his large-scale, site-specific murals. 40 color illus.