Cast your brain on the ocean of pop culture references for “perpetual worker” and you may come up with workaholic TV dads, the Energizer Bunny, or even Sisyphus, doomed to an eternity of useless boulder-pushing.
“There are associations that come with the use of a sarape, especially now with recent political and economic border issues,” says Adrian Esparza, referring to the brightly colored, blanket-like shawls from Latin America that inform and compose much of his work as well as the constant issue of the Mexican-American border, in which Texas is often found at the center.
When I walk into Audrya Flores’s home studio in San Antonio, I find a wood-paneled room, with a carefully curated selection of objects—needlework, prints, collages, fabric pieces—paired with found things—a turtle shell, stones, a preserved bat, potted plants.
The 2013 Hunting Art Prize winner describes the entire universe of a body or an object with subtle tones and pencil marks on translucent Mylar—a surface so delicate that one swipe of his hand could smudge it irreparably. In this way it is reminiscent of Buddhist sand mandalas, an effort of time and “intense study,” as the artist puts it.