O. Jackson, Jr.
I began working on the Essence of Mexico Project in January of 1990,
intending to devote the remainder of the decade to capturing the essence
of the Mexican festival as it exists during the final decade of the
millennium. I was convinced that, in the rapidly-changing modern world,
much of what has long been will soon be lost. Since then I have photographed
more than two hundred of the most important festivals of the more than
60 indigenous cultures.
My plan is to document this fascinating subject and build an archive
on the art of the Mexican festival. My idea is to present the resulting
material not only on a photojournalistic anthropological level but
also artistically, thereby expanding interest, appreciation and understanding
of this indigenous ephemeral art form.
While building the Essence of Mexico collection, I have also been
developing a portfolio of surrealistic images titled Embrujo Mexicano.
Through means of photomontage, I create these images by juxtaposing
and fusing the beautiful and sometimes bizarre images that I encounter
on my travels throughout Mexico.
of the Sun – Festivals
of the North
Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas, and FotoFest, 2000
Carnival of Ancient Spring : The Huastecan Rites of Purification
||Houston Museum of Natural Science, Exhibition funded
Summer Festivals of Southwest Mexico
||Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago,
||Houston Museum of Natural Science
Funded by the US/Mexico Fund for Culture, created and sponsored by the Fundacion
Cultural Bancomer, Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and the Arts,
and The Rockefeller Foundation.
Essence of Mexico
(Curated from the first two years of the project.)
||University of California, Davis, California
||Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, Mexico, D.F.
||Instituto Cultural Mexicano, San Antonio, Texas
||Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas
||Puertas de la Eternidad, six photographs
in a group exhibition of the Mexican days of the dead. Mexican
Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago
||Contact : Christians and Moors, Millennial Exhibition
Blue Star Art Space, San Antonio, Texas,
Salt Lake City Art Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Organized by Carla Stellweg, curated by Roberto Tejada, funded by the Robert
J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and the Houston Artist Fund, with grants
from Friends of the Essence of Mexico Project.
||Encuentros Recientes, Mardi Gras Museum,
||FotoSeptiembre 96 – Embrujo Mexicano Portfolio
shown during Mexico’s Month of Photography at the Museo de
las Artes, Guadalajara, Jalisco
||Photographic exhibition and slide presentation at
the Instituto Frances de America Latina (French Embassy) Mexico,
D.F. as part of a tribute to the late Francois Reichenbach.