Escape from Fantasylandia

Enrique Chagoya, Escape from Fantasylandia: An Illegal Alien’s Survival Guide, 2011. 10/30. Lithograph on papel de amate printed in ten colors with gold metallic powder from nine aluminum plates. Published by Shark’s Ink, Lyons, Colorado. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

“Chagoya limits his use of the Western written word, instead favoring pictorial signifiers combined with the glyph-based syllabaries of the Mitzec-Zapotec, Nahua (of whom the Aztec were members), and Maya cultures. The books are also printed on amate (a traditional Pre-Columbian paper made of banana fibers) and folded in the traditional accordion style. Within these parameters, the artist sets out epic cultural exchanges in which he “cannibalizes” Western culture in the same way that traditional Mesoamerican cultures have been appropriated into contemporary Mexican and U.S. culture.” —Sarah Kirk Hanley (Art in Print January/February 2012)

Chagoya writes, “My artwork is a visual reflection on various, and often opposite, cultural realities that I have experienced during my life, from growing up in Mexico, living a couple of times in France, and becoming a citizen of this country in the year 2000 after being a permanent resident living in the Bay area for 20 years. I integrate diverse elements: from pre-Columbian mythology, Western religious iconography, ethnic stereotypes, ideological propaganda from various times and places, American popular culture, etc.”

Enrique Chagoya lives in San Francisco where he is a professor of Art at Stanford University. See also: Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Friendly Cannibals. Art by Enrique Chagoya (San Francisco: Artspace Books, 1996). Firestone Library (F) PS3557.O459 F75 1996