A nationally touring Smithsonian exhibition featuring the works of de la Torre brothers Einar and Jamex is making its first stop in Corpus Christi this month. The exhibition, Collidoscope: de la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective, was organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of Riverside Art Museum.
The retrospective premiered at The Cheech in the summer of 2022 — with Sara Sells Morgan, Art Museum of South Texas (AMST) director, and Deborah Fullerton, curator of exhibitions, in attendance. It was then scheduled for a national tour, and the Art Museum team knew this exhibition needed to be displayed in the Coastal Bend along the way.
“When Melissa Richardson Banks contacted us to gauge our interest in the exhibition, we didn’t hesitate for a second,” Morgan said. “AMST has a longstanding relationship with Cheech Marin and Melissa’s firm, CauseConnect. The exhibitions we have collaborated on in the past have always resonated with our visitors. Collidoscope will be no different. The de la Torre work poignantly explores the collision of culture, medium and boundaries, and does so with boundless substance and humor combined with exemplary craftsmanship.”
The exhibition features 40 mixed-media works by internationally acclaimed artists, including blown-glass sculptures, installation art and lenticulars with imagery that changes as the viewer moves from one side to another.
Einar and Jamex have navigated life on both sides of the border for most of their lives. Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, and now living in San Diego and Baja, California, the pair pulls from this in forming their perspective of the Latinx experience and how it relates to American culture.
“The complexities of the immigrant experience and contradicting bicultural identities, as well as our current life and practice on both sides of the border, really propel our narrative and aesthetics,” Einar said. Through materials such as glass, resin, lenticular prints and what Einar refers to as “curated objects” (he’s not a fan of the term “found objects”), the duo creates vibrant and multifaceted artworks speaking to the complex cultural experience.
In addition to the exhibition’s local run from Apr. 20 through Sept. 30, the museum acquired a piece from the brothers for its permanent collection with funds from the Windgate Foundation, titled “Mitosis.”
“The museum has a growing collection that includes craft,” Fullerton explained. “The work titled ‘Mitosis’ fit not only in the area of contemporary craft, but very fittingly it depicts art of this time; and in the case of these collaborating brothers, reflects their bicultural identities.”
Einar further elaborated on the fitting nature of AMST choosing this piece. “Mitosis is the splitting of the genes, and you’ll see along the perimeter of the piece that it looks like little DNA segments kind of splitting. I think that speaks to the borderland separation and how we split our time and life traversing the border.”
Coastal Bend residents will have the chance to view the exhibition alongside Einar and Jamex de la Torre at the opening on Apr. 20 and special gallery tours with the artists on Apr. 22. This unique experience will offer local art lovers the chance to hear from the brothers on their creative process and the show itself, culminating in a beautiful, shared experience of culture and art in our community.
Looking for more Arts + Culture? Check out CCPATCH’s New Executive Director on Her Vision for Revitalizing The Ritz Theatre or Corpus Christi’s Taylor Pie Stars in Documentary Nobody Famous.