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Artist Statement (from Dreaming in Reverse/Soñando Hacia Atrás)

Artist Statement (from Dreaming in Reverse/Soñando Hacia Atrás)

Artist: Tom Chambers (American, born 1957)
Date: 2010 (printed 2011)
Medium: black typset on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 9 3/8 × 8 in. (23.8 × 20.3 cm)
Support: 13 3/4 × 11 in. (34.9 × 27.9 cm)
Classification: Graphic
Credit Line: Gift of Dennis Cormier, 2012
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 2012.15.19
Description
Artist Statement: Twenty-five years ago i traveled freely throughout the Mexican countryside where I relished a warm, welcoming, and slow-paced style of living. I was heartened by the physical beauty of the landscape and the simple, pure lifestyles shared by both the Hispanic and indigenous people of Mexico. A sense of spirituality and magic were imbedded in their religious practices, crafts, art, dance, and literature. Recently, I returned to Mexico where I experienced a country teetering on the brink of change created by increasing political and economic challenges, and exacerbated by the trappings of global consumerism. The Mexican people appeared handcuffed by demands largely outside of their control and threatened by the potential loss of their cultural richness. Sensing that little time remains to photograph the beauty of Mexico, I have created the series "Dreaming in Reverse" to express both my concern for cultural loss, as well as my appreciation for the inherent loveliness of Mexican life. Employing magic realism, an art genre used in the early twentieth century in Mexico, I have attempted to create images of Mexico which seem true and believable, but also perhaps improbable. These photomontages illustrate my dreams for the Mexican people that they are able to retain the authenticity of their culture. Declaración del artista: Hace vienticinco años viaje libremente por el campo Mexicano, en donde disfruté un estilo de vida cálido, invitador y tranquilo. Me sentí totalmente animado por la belleza del paisaje y la vida simple y pura compartida tanto por los mestizos, como por los indígenas de México. Un sentimiento de espiritualidad y magia permeaba sus practices religiosas, artesanías, arte, danza y literature. Recientamente regresé a México y descubrí un país al borde de cambios trascendentales ocasionados por los retos politicos y económicos, y complicado por ilusiones ocasionadas por el consumismo de la globalización. El pueblo mexicano pareciera estar atado por las demandas que en gran medida están fuera de su control y amenazados por la pérdida potencial de su riqueza cultural. Sintiendo que el tiempo para fotografiar la belleza de México se esfuma, he creatado la serie “Soñando Hacia Atrás” para expresar tanto mi preocupación por la perdida de cultura, como mi apreciación por el encantador tipo de vida de México. Utilizando “Realismo Mágico”, he intentado crear imágenes de México que paracen ser ciertas y creíbles, pero tal vez improbables. Estos fotomontajes ilustran mis sueños por la gente de México para que puedan la autenticidad de su cultura. -Tom Chambers
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