Acamonchi has been active in the underground Tijuana/Ensenada art scene since the 1980s. 2006 Strange New World: Art and Design from Tijuana exhibition--a show at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art --has recently pushed Acamonchi closer to the mainstream art world, but the artist isn't letting the attention change him.

 

Behind the playful Acamonchi moniker is a very grounded and clever 38-year-old artist named Gerardo Yépiz. Yépiz is just a regular guy living a modest, vegan and gluten-free lifestyle in North Park. He just happens to be obsessed with art and creation.

 

Yépiz paints, stencils, stamps, spray paints, screenprints and hand-draws his work onto large and small wood panels. He works an average of 12 hours a day in his tiny North Park studio, filling each piece with layers and layers of symbols and texture. Each figure, stamp, line and image reflects the bicultural world in which he lives. Looking at an Acamonchi piece is like traveling through time, space and countries.

 

Your eye bounces from an obscure reference to Aphex Twin to Tijuana's zebra-painted donkey to Stormtroopers and back to an image of an old Mac or a drawing of his favorite image, the tree stump, which he says represents broken dreams. Everything, every little detail that Acamonchi puts into each piece has meaning. There's always something hidden, he explains, untold stories in my work: little things here and there that you'll eventually see or understand as time goes by.

  

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Gerardo Yepiz launched the first Mexican Mail Art website in 1995, His

downloadable stencils revolutionized how a generation of young

artists, from Mexico City to Tijuana, used street installation and

graffiti as a critical forum. Known as Acamonchi, a slang term for

piggyback riding in northern Mexico, Yepiz adopted the strategies of

street art as the starting point for his fine art while also

distinguishing himself as a graphic designer working with clients on

both sides of the border including the Nortec Collective, MTV, Reebok,

Vans, Adidas, Pepsi, Warner records, Tribal Gear and Obey Giant. Like

his moniker, which, he explains "doesn't really mean anything, it's

just a dumb, silly sounding word," he uses humor to create graphic

works of art that probe serious political and cultural issues. As he

describes it, "poster illustrations or stickers are common resources

of visual communication; in the hands of Acamonchi, and in combination

with graffiti tactics, they become veritable terrorist instruments,

and the activity becomes a kind of cultural sabotage."

 

Acamonchi began hus career in the mid-1980s as part of a

cross-cultural underground scene in southern California and northern

Mexico that was heavily influenced by fanzines and the skateboard-punk

countercultures. Music developed his political awareness, and the

history of Fluxus inspired his passion for Mail Art. His early work

focused on images of the Mexican television host Raul Velasco and

assassinated presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio. According to

Acamonchi, Velasco represents the mindless entertainment provided by

the Mexican media. He describes Colosio-shot on live television in

1994, during a campaign rally in Tijuana -as the Mexican equivalent to

John F. Kennedy. Colosio's face is a poignant reminder of political

corruption and Tijuana's notorious outlaw reputation. Acamonchi makes

his point, however, with ridiculous images of Colosio n a cosmonaut

helmet, Colosio crossed with Colonel Sanders, and a "Blaxploitation"

Colosio just to name a few.

 

Recently, Acamonchi has focused his attention on painting. His densely

layered panels and murals integrate his signature street graphics

-posters, stencils, and graffiti -into abstract fileds of color. In

this new work, Acamonchi experiments with painterly techniques using

aerosol paint, ink pens, and more traditional pigments, Althought his

explorations are clearly inspired by street art, his distinctive

visual statements are something new. "Post-graffiti Art," as this kind

of art was called when graffiti artists first began to show in

galleries in the 1980s, does not encompass Acamonchi's strong affiliation with street art radicalism, and articulate his serious

painterly intent. Once again, Acamonchi is inspiring his colleagues as

he explores new forms of expression.

 

Rachel Teagle Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

 

ACAMONCHI art studio

www.acamonchi-art.com

flickr.com/photos/acamonchi

www.facebook.com/acamonchi

www.facebook.com/acamonchi.art

www.twitter.com/acamonchi

 

acamonchi.etsy.com

acamonchi-art.blogspot.com/

www.myspace.com/gerardoyepiz

www.archivobc.org/?secc=1&letra=Y

www.youtube.com/acamonchi06

www.graffiti.org/acamonchi/

  

ACAMONCHI ART STUDIO

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  • JoinedSeptember 2006
  • OccupationFine Artist, Graphic Designer
  • HometownEnsenada, Baja, Mexico
  • Current cityMarietta, GA
  • CountryUSA
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Testimonials

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Acamonchi lives and creates by example. There is no separation between his creations & actions, and his feelings about art, food, spirituality, and life. But he does not preach to those around him. Rather, his influence is felt naturally in the everyday. Simply put in his own wise words, "everyone finds truth on its ow… Read more

Acamonchi lives and creates by example. There is no separation between his creations & actions, and his feelings about art, food, spirituality, and life. But he does not preach to those around him. Rather, his influence is felt naturally in the everyday. Simply put in his own wise words, "everyone finds truth on its own."

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September 4, 2008
nonself says:

he rocks! and thats it.

May 7, 2008
rebel shake (deleted)

I've been a fan of the Tijuana piggy back riders for about 9 yrs. It started with one picture of a guy in a box with the volume turned down, then I searched for everything associated with acamonchi. I love it! viva la acamonchi!

January 4, 2008