One day, it occurred to me that those wonderful Dos XX beer labels I so admired could be great material for collages, along with labels from other Mexican beer brands and chocolate candy wrappers and anything of metallic foil or that had metallic pigments became fair game. After saving countless beer bottles, I reached what I thought was a dead end because I had trouble efficiently removing the beer labels from the bottles intact. Diana Molina, my partner of so many years now, came to the rescue. She figured I was on the right track and realized that all it took was more patience and a longer soak for the bottles in warm, soapy water. The labels could then be removed without tearing. A razor-bladed scraper came in handy to help the thing along.
Diana insisted that I teach her about making collages and then proceeded to do her own version of collages in the form of serapes, though I’d had a Serape Series of paintings going on for many years now. I conceded, after she did some truly wonderful ones that she now owned the idea and has gone on to create other types of collages using her own unique sensibility. Both of us submitted collages and were accepted to exhibit them in the III Bienal Ciudad Juárez/El Paso Biennial 2013 exhibition. Our collages were shown concurrently at the Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez and the El Paso Museum of Art. At right is a picture of Diana with her “serape” collages at the Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez.
I eventually did one serape collage but of a very different nature than Diana’s. The ones I showed at the III Bienal were my “stele” collages which are not in serape format. They are of a narrative nature and I have since done a variety of other collages as demonstrated here. Coming soon!….possibly a collaboration with Diana on a big serape form collage.
Sadly, since the idea occurred to me, those wonderful original Dos XX, Carta Blanca and Tecate labels have been redesigned more than once and not entirely to my liking. The latest Dos XX labels now look watered down, Carta Blanca has lost its classic elegance and the Tecate eagle became inexplicably shown at an angle though I get the impression that it is now full frontal again. On the bright side, Diana and I stock-piled enough of the old labels, giving us license to hike up the price of our work because it contains “vintage” labels!