Mexico City, 1968; lives in Mexico City
Abraham Cruzvillegas grew up in the Ajusco colonia, south of Mexico City. Made up of migrants from the countryside who came to the capital in search of better living conditions, the Mexican colonias are marked by a strong presence of collectivity, improvisation and precariousness. The land is often settled illegally, generating conditions unsuitable for construction – the houses are in a state of constant change according to human needs and environmental demands. This experience with self-built constructions is decisive in Cruzvillegas’s art. His work is autobiographical and often created with materials that are available and related to the context. His background convinced him that he could act politically through art, constructing a critical discourse on reality.
In 1968, Mexico hosted the Olympics. Ten days before the opening ceremonies, a yet-unknown number of students were murdered by the Mexican government when protesting for freedom, in what became known as the Tlatelolco Massacre.
It was in 1968 that Cruzvillegas was born, and this is furthermore the year of the oldest poster presented in the set Ink & Blood, 1968–2009. In this work, 41 posters and flyers created by social movements between 1968 and 2009 were reproduced in various formats on different kinds of paper, reflecting the diversity of their original contexts. Cruzvillegas based his work on extensive research into printmaking materials from around the world, used as a communication tool by groups related to social causes. This initial research gave rise to a collection of pieces related to Latin America, gathered in Ink & Blood, 1968–2009. For his work, the artist has chosen formats, slogans and languages that serve various agendas of the left – such as agrarian reform, the struggle for political freedom, and resistance to North American intervention