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ArtPrize Artist Feature: Salvador Jimenez Flores

Contemporary Conversations

ArtPrize Artist Feature: Salvador Jimenez Flores

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Salvador Jiménez-Flores is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Jalisco, México.  Since coming to the United States, Jiménez-Flores has contributed to the Midwest art scene by producing a mixture of socially conscious installation, public, and studio-based art.

He has presented his work at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, and Casa de la Cultura in Jalisco, México amongst others. Recently, Jiménez-Flores was awarded a two year-long artist residency at the Harvard Ceramics Program, Office of the Arts at Harvard University. Also he serves as the Artist-In-Residence for the City of Boston. He is also Resident Teaching Artist at Urbano Project and instructor at both Wheelock College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Harvard Ceramics Program, Office of the Arts at Harvard University. Jiménez-Flores received his MFA from Kendall College of Art and Design in Drawing and his BAS from Robert Morris University in Chicago, IL.

Tell us a little about the work that’s on display at UICA.

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My latest research is about developing a Rascuache-Futuristic aesthetics. La Resistencia De Los Nopales Híbridos is an exploration of the themes of colonialism, migration, identity and futurism. I see the cactus is a resilient plant that can survive extreme weather conditions, I use the cactus as a symbol of resilience and hope for a better future.

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All over the world, including the United States, we still identify people by physical appearance, and the residue of colonial labels still remain. As an artist of color, I might be forced to identify with one, many, or none of the labels assigned to me, such as Latino, Chicano, American, etc. The act of resistance to who we are starts when we fight against those who try to stop us from being what we can become. Through art, I seek to resist the labels put upon me and other persons of color by reimagining what an alternative future could look like.

Through mainstream media and in most science-fiction content, the future is traditionally imagined as white. People of color have been erased from the future all together. My latest research is about exploring and developing a Rascuache-Futuristic aesthetic in my artwork where I can articulate pre-Columbian, colonial, and post-colonial histories. Really, I am just trying to imagine and create a future where the good guys looks like me and fully understand me while allowing others to relate.

UICA’s exhibition is centered around food. Does your work use food as a theme or lens traditionally or is this new territory for you?

I have used food and organic materials in previous work,s but this is still a new territory for me. I'm exploring this new territory where food is used as a cultivator of dialogue (specially talking about current political issues that are affecting millions of people).  

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What are you hoping visitors will take away from the experience of viewing your work?

I hope that the visitors get a chance to observe and digest the visual aesthetics and content of this installation. As an artist, I have the need and the privilege to be able to express my concerns and those of my people. My talent is art so I using it as a tool to address the issues that affect my community, create awareness, and propose action. We are facing so many political injustices which are affecting thousands of people. One of the most pressing concerns is the uncertainty of DACA. Therefore, I decided to stain the white gallery walls with clay, dirt,  and earth…and spell out loud that we are here to stay.  

Looking for more?

Learn more about the artist here.

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Salvador Jiménez Flores
The Resistance of the Hybrid Cacti , La Resistencia de los Nopales Híbridos
Category: Three-Dimensional
Vote Code: 66127
Current City: Jamaica Plain, MA, US