Demián Flores Cortés (1971 - )


    Demián Flores was born in Juchitán, Oaxaca, in 1971.He lives and works in Mexico City. Despite occasional incursions into the world of painting, Flores is mainly a graphic artist who produces highly complex works on paper thanks to his deep knowledge of printing techniques. He graduated as a visual artist from UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in 1995, and in the same year he won the Prize of the Latin American Engraving Contest, "La Joven Estampa", organised by the Casa de las Américas in Havana, Cuba.Flores could be considered a spiritual son of Francisco Toledo, the master painter and engraver of Oaxaca who has inspired him since childhood.

    The thematic focus of Demián Flores' works is found in popular culture, and more specifically in the world of Mexican free wrestling or lucha libre, a veritable universe governed by its own ethic and aesthetic laws within the context of Mexican society. Inspired by the visual splendour of this distinctive world, his artworks are a multilayered re-elaboration of masked identities and romantic iconographies. Within the arena of his prints he sets in motion and pays homage to a world of fictional existences, producing an effect of highly charged visual intensity through layering of different techniques - wood and metal engraving, screen printing, off-set lithography. These combinations of printing techniques seem to echo the layers of images produced by motion during the wrestling spectacle. He also uses found materials to print on, such as wrestling ephemera and posters. In 2000, while in residence at Vermont Studio Center, USA, having won Mexican-American Foundation for Artistic Residences Prize, he even used paper bags collected from supermarkets as the base for his prints.

    Flores has received several awards, including the Prize of the XX Young Art National Reunion in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the Prize of the first National Biennial of Engraving Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca, Mexico. During 2002 he took a residence in the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He has had many solo exhibitions in Mexico and in 2002 he exhibited at Abel fur Neue Kunst Gallery in Berlin, Germany, and at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. During 2000 he presented Arena Mexico in the Museo de la Ciudad de México, and in the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca, an exhibition that travelled to the University of Essex Gallery in 2004, where it was accompanied by two live wrestling matches between the legendary El Hijo del Santo and Blue Panther, one in Colchester and the other at the University campus.

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