'Border Bang': Artist Jorge Gutierrez and the vivid pop culture of the US-Tijuana border


When you hear people talking about the border these days, it’s often about the wall a certain GOP nominee wants to build. But for artist and animator Jorge Gutierrez, the border was a source of inspiration and wonder. Growing up in Tijuana, Gutierrez crossed that border almost every day to attend school in the U.S. Along the way he was struck by the mash-up of American and Mexican pop culture being peddled by vendors. His experience crossing the border over the years is the inspiration for his new gallery show, "Border Bang." It’s a collection of 57, vividly-colored paintings depicting pop culture figures Gutierrez was first exposed to during his childhood in Tijuana...

Published Aug 04, 2016

Jorge Gutierrez and Mexrrissey: Crossing Borders and Reinventing Culture – or how Mexican Art and Music saved my life again


...Gutierrez’s “First Solo Art Show” (which may be a slight exaggeration considering his award-winning career in animation), Border Bang, practically lights up the Escalante Gallery with its neon color and graphic electricity. Gutierrez’s concentration at CalArts was animation, but his mastery of a high-impact tapestried species of graphic, a kind of superflat collage iconography is striking. There are so many cross-cultural (as well as direct artistic) influences and elements at play here, it’s hard to sort them all out. (We see an iconizing aspect of Jean-Michel Basquiat, with something like Keith Haring’s electric action-line accents.) All of it is distilled through the filter of Mexican folk culture, ‘luchadorismo’ and magic – a conflation of Dia de Los Muertos with el Dia de Los Niños...

Published Jul 12, 2016

Artist Jorge R. Gutierrez's exports "Border Bang" from Mexico to the U.S.

Mass Appeal

Like any worthy superhero, Jorge R. Gutierrez is gifted/conflicted with a duality. Having grown up along the border in Tijuana, the animator and director best known for the 2014 animated film, The Book of Life, and co-creator of the Nickelodeon cartoon El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, is undoubtedly a son of Mexico. But, he is one that also had “one foot, one eye, one ear” in the United States. And it’s in that very schism that his visual aesthetic was filled in–with the alternating currents of both countries. The handmade hallmark and vitality of Mexican folk art collided, but never blindly, with an American pop culture sensibility...

Published Jul 08, 2016

Artist Jorge Gutierrez's 'Border Bang' is an ode to the pop culture of his Tijuana youth

LA Times

When artist and animator Jorge Gutierrez was 9, his family relocated from Mexico City to Tijuana, and he crossed the U.S. border to attend school in San Diego. The process took about two hours daily, as travelers navigated U.S. Customs and the influx of cars inched forward. Young Gutierrez occupied himself with the blitz of pop cultural imagery he saw on touristy goods for sale at the border: brightly colored, often bootlegged versions of Mickey Mouse, Godzilla, Elvis and Tupac Shakur on T-shirts, mugs, toys and other items. He fabricated fictional story lines for these curious characters, subversively tweaked versions of globally familiar faces — and they lingered in his subconscious for decades...

Published Jul 07, 2016

Reel FX Makes Multi-Picture Pact With ‘Book Of Life’ Helmer Jorge R. Gutierrez; Kung Fu Space Western, Anybody?

Deadline Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE: Reel FX Animation Studios, the company behind The Book Of Life, has made a long term deal with that film’s writer/director Jorge R. Gutierrez. The first animated picture under the new deal will be an untitled Kung Fu Space Western. Gutierrez will direct from a script he’s writing with Douglas Langdale. Reel FX’s Brad Booker will produce with Gutierrez and Chatrone LLC. Sandra Equihua has been set to oversee the character design...

Published Feb 18, 2015