Artist Interview: 2/14/2011  

Jorge Tellaeche : "Animals R Dishonest"

We were first introduced to Jorge's bright, colorful work through the Adapta vs. Sezio series in 2008. His intricate line work and vibrant colors reflected the bright surroundings of his residence in Tijuana, Mexico. Mr. Tellaeche has since returned to his home town of Mexico City, where his craft has soared to new heights. We caught up with Jorge to discuss his recent homecoming exhibit entitled "Animals R Dishonest".

Give our readers a quick bio about yourself and your artwork?
My name is Jorge Tellaeche, I am a painter and graphic designer. I started my career at age 15 in San Diego, showing my work also in Los Angeles and Tijuana, México. I showed work at a variety of galleries and art spaces, and co-founded a curatorial collective called Adapta Project, where we collaborated with architects and visual artists.

In 2009 I decided to come back to my native México City. Recently I opened a show called “Animals R Dishonest” in which I introduced animal figures into my paintings to reflect some of my sarcastic humor and make you question ideas that might seem unquestionable by society and your own education.

How have the various cities you've lived in affected your work?
I think a lot! But I can’t tell you that there is a exact point of enlightenment were I change or my work takes a drastic turn. I think San Diego was an incredible platform for me when I was there, but it has been good for me to start again in Mexico City. It’s made me push harder, and refine my work a lot more for it to get some notice. Being one of the largest cities in the world, there are so many amazing artists all over.

Your work has always been vibrant and full of color, is that a reflection of your surroundings?
Hmm, I’ve never been asked that before… Colors for me are just another tool to get my point across. I think it does have to do with my culture a bit, but more that I just like color! I have four brightly colored pants (salmon, electric blue, electric green, and mint) so I am always sporting the bright colors.

Tell us about your recent opening, and where the theme “Animals R Dishonest” came from?
The show was divided into two dates, the first a preview on November 24th, and the second a full opening on February 10th at Medellin 174. The theme came from a bit of family drama I was going through, that made me feel like I had to question everything I thought was solid in my life. Coupled with my love for sarcastic and dark humor, I decided that animals were the perfect victim (because of course they are honest, they live on instincts and are not complicated beings like us). It was fun to mix them up with our human drama. Every piece was purposed to make you question something you thought was naturally true because your parents tought you, or society or religion.

When did you start painting on furniture? How do you feel about people sitting on your art?
The first furniture piece I did was in 2006 for my first solo show in Mexico City. After that I fell in love with utilitarian art. I don’t take myself too seriously. I think the concept of high & mighty art pieces are in the past. With public art and street art you can sit, step and lean on art.

How did you get hooked up with Adidas? Tell us about that project.
One of the coordinators called me and told me they dig my work but wanted to know if I had done street art. I had painted a few murals but only on interiors, but I didn’t mention that. It has been a fun project, one of the pieces is huge on a building, one on a trolley and the last one on a very visible wall on a main road. It was kind of a challenge to make everything in blue, but I guess it didn’t look that bad in the end. I also did a poster, bag, pins and a label.

What's on tap for the new year? Any ideas for your next series?
I have two openings scheduled this year with other galleries in Mexico City, and to tell you the truth I have no idea yet what I want to do. I always get very involved with what I am doing at the moment, but I am also very easily bored, so I naturally change direction as I work, so lets see what happens.

View more of Jorge's work from "Animals R Dishonest" below, and some of his past work and various collaborations on his website > tellaeche.com.

Tags: Artist Interview, Adapta Project, Tijuana, Jorge Tellaeche, Mexico City, Animals

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