Felipe Pantone Finds a Muse in Modern Mexico

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Felipe Pantone is one of today’s top glitch artists whose pixelated paintings have redefined the medium since it emerged in the late 1960s. His stylized manipulations of digital photos and videos evoke the kind of disjointed screen image you might see on a jammed VHS tape. Now, Pantone—talk about an apt surname—has brought his talents to Miami Art Week to realize an interactive kinetic and digital art show created in partnership with Tequila Don Julio. 

As part of the brand’s Por Amor (For Love) campaign honoring Mexican culture, Pantone’s installation incorporates video and photography shot throughout the country by Mexican photographers, including Thalia Gochez, along with directors and stylists, giving the culture pride of place at Art Basel Miami Beach. The interactive work launches at noon today at The Temple House. According to the Argentine-Spanish artist, Mexico is a special place that is close to his heart. “I was born in Argentina, I live in Spain, and I’ve been to Mexico more times than I’ve been to Argentina,” he told Surface. “It’s literally my second home. I love the culture, the cities, the nature, and the overall freedom you experience there.”

The essence of that freedom shines through in his soon-to-open commission. Upon entering, viewers can expect to see “a series of animations that will be video mapped all over the space,” Pantone says, as well as “a massive sculpture that combines the essence of Tequila Don Julio’s Por Amor campaign and my own work.” Mexican heritage, culture, and creativity has always been a core part of the brand, which was founded in the Jalisco town of Atotonilco in 1942 by Don Julio Gonzalez. Pantone’s commission is an ode to its heritage—and, with the burgeoning art capital of Mexico City and the country’s numerous rising artists—its present and future.

Pantone’s visual storytelling honors this modern vision of the country by paying homage to its people, culture, and landscape. “Mexican culture has influenced so many aspects of the art world and beyond, so I was thrilled to partner with Tequila Don Julio to invite guests to celebrate modern Mexico,” he says. His digital artwork incorporates his glitchy digital trademark, kinetic art, and video graphics. “I wanted to create an immersive journey into the vibrant heartbeat of modern Mexico that I’m thrilled for everyone to finally see.”

The work also nods to Pantone’s roots in street art and the essence of Mexico’s bustling streets and raucous nightlife given that he started out tagging the streets of Valencia before moving into painting as a profession. “The streets are a reflection of our society,” Pantone says. “I want my art to reflect our times, so growing up working on the streets, traveling the world, and being connected to everyone thanks to the internet has always made me feel in tune with the world.”

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