MEXICAN ARTIST CUEVA ANDREA REINTERPRETS THE MEXICAN LOTERÍA GAME IN AN UNPRECEDENTED WAY.
Cueva’s revival uses high-end still-life photography, for the first time in the game’s history, to literally bring the game to life, with people and real objects.
Her version works to tell Mexico’s history and demystifies its culture, through each of its 54 unique cards.
NEW YORK, NY – Mexican artist, Cueva Andrea, a.k.a Cuevawolf, pays a tribute to her native country by reinterpreting the national iconic game, la lotería, with Viva La Lotería MX, consisting of a contemporary collection of 54 portraits of widely varied characters and objects traditional to Mexican culture. The bingo-like game exists in Mexico since colonial times, and it is composed of a board, or tabla, and a deck of 54 cards, each featuring a distinct image, historically illustrated with traditional colorful drawings. Cueva’s unprecedented revival uses high-end still-life photography, never seen before in the game’s history, to literally bring the game to life.
Through the Viva La Lotería MX series, the artist shares her love and passion for Mexico with a young, global audience by opening an artistic window to reveal many of the most iconic symbols of Mexican culture, their history, and cultural relevance. Cueva infuses a current tone of voice to update the meaning behind the traditional collection without altering its original essence, and modernizes it with a bold, contemporary art direction. She fearlessly uses color as the medium to embody Mexico’s spirit, resulting in an exquisite explosion of colors elegantly splattered across dozens of tremendously evocative portraits, each telling their own story, and collectively, telling the history of Mexico.
Each portrait is complemented by a bespoke poem written by Cueva. The original poems found in the original lotería are short rhymes making reference to Mexican popular culture, which the artist refreshes with today’s voice to further their cultural resonance. Cueva also uses her platform to advance gender and social equality. She challenges the traditionally assigned personality, or gender, of many of the lotería characters to get this message across. The artist herself incarnates La Dama, a character usually portrayed as a conservative high-society lady, as a liberal, defiant, empowered woman. El Valiente, historically portrayed as a brave young man, is replaced by a fearless, proud heroine. As El Diablo, she presents a daring, provocative villainess. This remarkable photo series offers an escape to a world that exists between reality and fantasy, evoking a strong sense of magical realism, just like Mexico itself.
For her premier art project, Cueva found inspiration not only in her native country, but also in her frustration at the often unfavorable, and inaccurate, foreign representation of Mexicans and their culture. To execute Viva La Lotería MX, Cueva invited a very diverse team, hailing almost entirely from New York’s Mexican creative community, as well as an all-Mexican casting, all with a strong connection to the iconic lotería. The eye who captured all the images belongs to Chocky, the photographer who, with the rest of Cueva’s team, volunteered their time and talents. Together, they pay a truly premium homage to their native, or chosen, culture. For the artist, such superb collectivity is a prime example of the inherent sense of community that is so characteristic of Mexico. Committed to authenticity, Cueva sourced most of the objects and props, mainly consisting of ancestral crafts, such as alebrijes, the huichol, folk art items, etc., and even the backdrop fabrics from Mexico, resulting in an extraordinary, and accurate, portrait collection that embodies Mexico's spirit, magic, and resurgence in an a way never experienced before.
The launch of Viva La Lotería MX took place on September 15, 2018, coinciding with the anniversary of the Independence of Mexico, and will be available only on Instagram @vivalaloteriamx, where Cueva will be unveiling her collection over the next 12 months. Since the characters and objects of la lotería are symbols or icons of Mexican culture and history, Cueva will use each of the portraits to craft social posts to both educate, and start a modern dialogue on historic and current topics that hold world relevance. Through this art project, Cueva joins the global stage to represent Mexico with a series of flawlessly executed images meant to spark the curiosity, and admiration, the country and its culture deserve.