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El Toro y otros relatos

(The Bull and Other Stories)

Eduardo Sarabia

Eduardo Sarabia says he’s got good luck. Stories just come to him, like they do to Rulfo’s characters. He follows clues until he happens on something (almost never what he expected) and turns it into treasure. Discoveries reach him de-structured and vague, at times without background, or form; difficult. He uses several strategies to work with them. For one, he lets them ripen and creates a parallel epic, until one fine day, without undue calculation, he narrates the story of the discovery through a new object: a misleading bit of talavera tile, for example, like those in this gallery. He encrypts the story—as might a pre-Hispanic codex—within that object. The representation of a parrot, a goat and a rooster, a brief history of drugs (that he picked up and assimilated as he looked for something else on different trips to the Sinaloa sierra). 


El Toro y otros relatos (The Bull and Other Stories) assembles a twenty-year trajectory of searches and discoveries: a trip through the artist’s recurring themes and the story of his life.


In other cases, the artist discovers a given narrative for the story. Naturalist and declarative paintings; murals portraying these same symbolic animals, decorated with sabers, rifles and marijuana leaves; and Sarabia himself, a character innate to the discovery. A symbolic narrative. 


The artist’s grandfather was a treasure-hunter, in search of a specific prize. He said the old man knew a great deal about it, down to what the faces were like on coins he would find in a chest one day, hidden in the Sinaloa desert. When his grandfather died, Sarabia did not inherit treasure, but instead, the tradition of being a searcher. As part of his artistic rite, he visited Culiacán’s Jesús Malverde Chapel, asking its patron to help him find grandpa’s gold. The treasure never appeared—or has yet to appear—but neither is it missing; it lives in the visual narrator’s oeuvre. What courses through his veins has led him to new discoveries.


The present exhibition is not in any sense a traditional anthology; it does not call on works from every period. Yet somehow it takes up all important paths in the artist’s life. Pieces set out as labyrinths, or corridors, present various episodes, with something for walking life’s journey and another something for representing it.   

Luisa Reyes Retana







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el toro y otros relatos


Eduardo Sarabia, Untitled, 2019. Blue chinese ink on paper. Artist courtesy

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