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Marcela Rico, Untitled from Landscapes of Sinaloa, 2011


Seven Contemporary Mexican Artists Confront the Drug War

February 1 - March 9, 2013

Opening Reception:
Friday, February 1, 2013, 6-8pm

1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas [map]

Gallery Hours:
and Friday, 10am - 5pm
Thursdays, 10am - 7pm
Saturday, noon - 5pm


Crónicas is a new multi-media exhibition focusing on a group of young Mexican artists’ creative and critical responses to their nation’s violent and protracted drug war. The seven artists in the exhibition present unusual and provocative interpretations of the complex, multi-party conflict and the mass media’s response.

Miguel Aragón, Retrato #4 (Matriz), 2011

The artists in the exhibition came of age amid a period of transition when relative peace was replaced by widespread violence as seven major cartels were vying for control over border crossings and supply lines, while fighting Mexican Federal police and military.

“Surrounding much of the country for over a decade, the drug war has become part of the contemporary Mexican life,” says curator Jennifer Ward. “This artwork reflects this situation and the artists’ personal and familial histories before and during the war. Their work is critical of many aspects of the conflict, from the narcos themselves, to government policy and the media. There is also great humanity in the work, a search for the personal, memories of the past, beauty among the horror.”

The featured artists come from regions most associated with the drug war: Ciudad Juárez, Monterrey, and the states of Sinaloa and Oaxaca.


Fernando Brito, Untitled from Tus Pasos se Perdieron con el Paisaje, 2010-2012

Edgardo Aragón (Oaxaca)
Miguel Aragón
(Ciudad Juárez)
Jorge Arreola Barraza
(Ciudad Juárez)
Fernando Brito
Ivete Lucas
Pedro Reyes
Marcela Rico


Pedro Reyes, Video still from Palas por Pistolas, 201-2012

Edgardo Aragón, Video still from Efectos de Familia, 2007-2009
Courtesy of Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City

Tours and Special Events

Opening Reception with Artists and the Curator
Music, Food and Drinks
Friday, February 1, 2013, 6-8pm
FotoFest Headquarters, 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas 77002 [map]

Special support comes from the Tequila Interchange Project; Siembra Azul Tequila; and Fidencio Mezcal

Saturday Matinee Curator Tour
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 2pm
FotoFest Headquarters, 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas 77002 [map]

A Literary Event in conjunction with Crónicas
With poets Marco Antonio Huerta & Sara Uribe (Cd. Victoria, Mexico); Lupe Méndez (Houston); John Pluecker (Houston); Minerva Reynosa (Monterrey, Mexico); Omar Pimienta (Tijuana, Mexico)
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 6- 9pm
FotoFest Headquarters, 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas 77002 [map]

Co-sponsored with Make.Play. Speak and John Pluecker. Special support comes from Poets & Writers, Inc and Nuestra Palabra

A War that Can't be Won: Binational Perspectives on the Drug War
Presented by FotoFest in collaboration with The Latin America Initiative of Rice University’s Baker Institute
and the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas

A Lecture with Tony Payan, Ph.D. and Fernando Brito

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 7pm
University of St. Thomas, Ahern Room, at the Crooker Center
Graustark between Sul Ross and Branard, Houston, TX 77006 [map]

Palas por Pistolas Tree Planting with Artist Pedro Reyes
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 9am
Guadalupe Plaza Park, 2311 Runnels Street, Houston, Texas 77003 [map]

Special support comes from Trees for Houston and Houston Parks and Recreation


Jorge Arreola Barraza, Daño colateral-Espacio vacío 2 [Collateral Damage-Empty Space-2], 2011

Ivete Lucas, Video still from ¡Felicidades Mexico!, 2010

FotoFest 2012 - 2013 Exhibition Sponsors

Houston Endowment Inc; City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance; National Endowment for the Arts; Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Wortham Foundation; Iris Art Foundation; The Cullen Foundation; FotoFest Board of Directors; arts>Brookfield and Brookfield Office Properties; Judith and Gamble Baldwin; Texas Commission on the Arts; Trust for Mutual Understanding; HexaGroup; iLand Internet Solutions; Vine Street Studios; Weingarten Realty; Frazier King.

Special support for this exhibition comes from Robert Abbinanti; Trees for Houston; Houston Parks and Recreation; Make. Play. Speak; Rice University James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy’s Latin America Initiative; Consulate General of Mexico, Houston; Nuestra Palabra; Poets & Writers, Inc.