© Balam Bartolomé.
All rights reserved for me
& the ones I love.
Comissioned work for the exhibition "Mano, Mundo, Corazón: artists interpret La Loterìa" at the Center for Book & Paper Arts (CBPA), Columbia College, Chicago.
On Bartolomé's work for the exhibition, curator Jessica Cochran wrote:
Balam Bartolomé's interpretation of La Bandera critiques such nationalism. The work depicts two skulls (red and green) obscured by a tattered white sheet with the words "My prisoner blood" across the front. On the skull's forehead "sexy" is inscribed and the green skull features the word "buches", a slang word for throat that the artist has found featured on stickers throughout Mexico City. A typical Mexican flag, pointing ever forward, is positioned in front of the white sheet. According to the artist:
"Unlike many other Lotería images, the flag is something I believe very powerful, with lots of cultural connotations. Right now we are having a terrible, brutal and violent situation where death, poverty and extreme richness from a few are part of everyday life. It is a complex culture, a complex contry –both a paradise and a prison. In this case it may sound as love it or leave it, and both are difficult. Can a piece of fabric make you understand the complexity of a culture? I don't think so, but somehow a flag is important and outstanding. It does represent you in one way or the other."