Abraham Cruzvillegas: “Ichárhuta” at Mixografia

Mixografia Gallery

Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, August 15, 2017) – Mixografia is pleased to present Ichárhuta, our first print collaboration with Abraham Cruzvillegas. This edition will be exhibited as part of Mixografia’s exhibition From Mexico to LA: A Visual History of Graphic Art in conjunction with the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, opening Saturday, September 16th, 2017, 5:00pm – 7:00 pm at Mixografia, 1419 East Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90011.

Ichárhuta is a depiction of 50 Pesos bills. There are two 50 Pesos bills displayed in this print.  One shows a worn bill lying flat in its entirety, and the other has been folded in the shape of a paper boat. Cruzvillegas draws attention to the images printed on currency. These intricate images often make specific references to history and culture but are overlooked for the monetary value that the bill is worth.

Cruzvillegas notes, “We rarely remember that paper money always has a precious and detailed work of drawing, engraving and printing, we reduce it to its value of exchange, forgetting its communicative or aesthetic potential.”

In the first representation of the bill, fishermen are shown using traditional Purepecha native fishing nets in Lake Pátzcuaro, in Michoacán State, Mexico.  This is the land that Cruzvillegas’ ancestors inhabited.   In recent years, the water levels in the lake have reduced to a concerning low, putting a strain on the ecosystems and economics of the area. The lake provides life for the residents: it not only provides the community’s main source of food but also roots itself deep in the cultural and traditional identity of its neighboring peoples. The bill is shown in a rucked-up, worn state with printed guidelines that serve as folding instructions. When folded, the bill transforms into the shape of a canoe.

The second bill takes the shape of a paper boat. This folded boat appears to be floating off the plain sheet of handmade paper.   On the side of the boat, the image of the independence war hero Jose Maria Morelos is shown. Morelos was a priest-turned general during the move for Mexican independence.  He was born not far from Lake Pátzcuaro.

The image on the bill is no longer in circulation and was redesigned in the year 2013. In this project Cruzvillegas asks the viewer to further investigate the value and worth of our history: “Reflection can be carried anywhere in the world, where you choose randomly, there will always be a problematic circumstance in our link with natural resources, which are not isolated from economics, politics, history, society, colonialism, Migration, art: the Congo River, the North Pole, the Amazon, the Suchiate, the Rhine”.

Cruzvillegas has completed residencies at DAAD, Capp Street, The Smithsonian Institution, among others. His artwork has been exhibited at museums and galleries internationally including, Haus der Kunst, Munich; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; New Museum, New York City; LACMA, Los Angeles; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; and Tate Modern, London. Cruzvillegas is a graduate of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, in Mexico City. He currently lives and works in Mexico City.



Abraham Cruzvillegas, Ichárhuta, 2017. Mixografia® print on handmade paper and archival pigment print. Edition of 49. 13 X 7.5 inches

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