By R. Eguia
The cover art this week features a piece titled “Euforia,” composed completely with fruit stickers. The piece comes from a collection of pieces composed of produce stickers that began as beautiful mandalas and evolved into a full interpretation of the 78 tarot cards.
“A produce sticker can tell a story of some country’s economy, big corporations, successful business people, proud farmers, and happy customers. They can also tell the story of good smells, delicious flavors, bright colors, and creative artists. [The stickers can also] tell stories of contamination, deforestation, displacement, and poverty. A tiny produce sticker really holds many stories.”
EfrenAve was born in Michoacán Mexico and immigrated to California in 1990 to start a new life. Those years greatly influenced the themes of his creative work as he began exploring social issues concerning the border and Mexican immigration with a satirical tone.
“I do art because I want to do art. I make things as a reaction to my feelings. I always have feelings so I am always making art,” he said.
In 2000 he enrolled in art classes at Foothill College where he received an AA degree and he said he has been making art daily ever since. After achieving much success and critical acclaim with his work with oil paintings, he eventually moved on to exploring work with recycled materials.
“From the very beginning these produce stickers projects have been a family collaboration in one way or another and most importantly a recycling effort.”
Each produce sticker piece requires upwards of about 7000 stickers and requires about 120 hours of assembly on average.
Even though he does not have much knowledge of the Tarot, he envisioned the idea of creating a deck with recycled materials to play at predicting the effects of Global Warming on our planet.
With work he wants to play at predicting the outcome of Climate Change conferences, forums, and agreements between world leaders. And the questions here are, will they work one day or is this a great photo opportunity for self-promotion? Another prediction is about all the young climate change activists and their social movements, will they be enough to make a difference? Or are the global warming deniers, skeptics, and big polluters will prevail? But at the same time EfrenAve knows that it is difficult to predict such an important event as saving the planet with a card game. That is why he hopes that the act of recycling the fruit stickers to reuse them and create designs is a step in the right direction to help the planet. At the same time he is hopeful that this artwork of recycling and reusing materials will motivate others to do the same, reuse, or recycle more in creative ways.
EfrenAve draws his deep respect for nature from his upbringing in Michoacán where he remembers growing up in the hills and foraging from the wildflowers. His portfolio includes a large range of work surveying many topics including over 3000 photos of California wildflowers, collections exploring culture and much more.
He is developing a new collection of work that will further explore the fragility of the ecosystem by using fragile pastels to reflect the fragile state of the environment.
For a complete look at the work of EfrenAve, please visit www.efrenave.com