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Mexico comes to Sunderland as flamboyant artists launch National Glass Centre’s major summer show

Three solo exhibitions combine as NGC celebrates start of summer with a free Mexican fiesta


Colourful artist brothers from Mexico have brought an added blast of summer to Sunderland’s National Glass Centre where the launch of their exhibition is being celebrated fiesta-style.

Glass artists the De La Torre Brothers are displaying their creative talents in one of three solo shows running until September.

As finishing touches were made, Jamex and brother Einar certainly brightened up the day with their bold sculptures and experimental lenticular prints which make use of a 3D technology to produce mixed images with a remarkable illusion of depth and movement.

“It’s warped in virtual space,” says Einar of the high-tech results. They love the making processes behind all their work and earlier this week enjoyed trying out the NGC’s waterjet cutting machine to help create new pieces for the show.

The pair moved with their family from Mexico to California in 1972 and now divide their time between the two countries, basing their unique style of art - which integrates found objects, mixed media and lots of imagination - on both cultures.

Guaranteed to catch the eye of visitors are butterflies floating above the foyer and symbols of the west - Coca Cola bottles and plastic toys - alongside historic and religious icons.

Jamex says: “When we were students we were very much exposed to minimal art and could never understand how we would fit into that world. Luckily for us the art world has changed!”

Their work looks humorous but close inspection reveals there’s far more to it, points out Julia Stephenson, NGC’s head of arts. Viewers might spot faces of Mexicans who vanished on failed bids to reach America for instance.

A free Mexican Fiesta and Family Fun Day will mark today’s opening of Solo Shows Revised with Mexican-theme glass painting, bead-making, live music and tapas from 10am until 10pm.

The other solo shows, revealing very different glass techniques, are by American Richard Meitner and Czech artist Petr Stanický. See the next edition of Culture magazine for artist interviews.


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