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Born: 1964, Mexico City, Mexico
Lives and Works: Mexico City
Daniel Guzmán's work seems anguished and intimate, yet it is also bitterly ironic. As if regurgitating an adolescent impulse toward the grotesque, the macabre, and the obscene, the artist's drawings and phrases convey disillusionment, unspeakable urges, and dark frustrations. Skulls, commercial logos, Aztec symbols, cartoon creatures, swastikas, centerfolds, and fireballs populate his work, and he has frequently reflected on Mexican culture's condition of colonization and its customization of American icons. Guzmán's series La básqueda del ombligo (The search of the navel) (2005-2007) references a 1945 set of drawings titled La verdad (The truth) by the celebrated Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco. The large-scale black-and-white diptychs that make up Guzmán's series fuse mythical and historical sources with contemporary provocations, extending further his delirious and vertiginous graphic universe. Here, pre-Hispanic symbols, such as the moon, the pyramid, and the rabbit, join with caricatures of politicians, cosmic imagery, and rock music icons in a vomiting-up of hope and greed, good and evil, pleasure and violence.