The loterías 54 symbols from life, lore and nature each with a backstory and numerous rhymes to describe it have changed little since they became popular in Mexico more than 200 years ago. But the collectives Yesika Felix, Sergio Martinez, Fernando Sanchez, Miguel Perez and Ireri Topete have turned that familiar imagery on its nose, even adding a new symbol of their own invention La Malagua, or the jellyfish, to their own deck of lotería cards.
Nobody has ever dared to do that before: Its like putting jeans on a Mary statue, Salazar explains. You dont fool around with a hundreds-year-old Mexican tradition! But the resulting large prints on canvas, she adds, are so spectacular that one must forgive them. Their imagery translates, without destroying, the folkloric richness of the lotería while also making a contemporized statement.
La Malagua also includes additional lotería-inspired works by Belen Escalante and Carlos Fresquez. The show remains on view at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive, through June 6; admission is $3 to $4 (or free for members and children ages twelve and under). Get information at www.museo.org or call 303-571-4401.
Feb. 4-June 6, 2010