Maye Torres: Unbound
“I need to be immersed in the vortex that really represents the new millennium.”
- Maye Torres
It is a risk for both the curator and the artist when the decision is made to display predominately new work for a one- person exhibition. A level of respect and trust must exist. Maye Torres works best in a climate of L'avenir, or the unpredictable future. Trusting in, and being open to, an unpredictable future is a primary element in Maye’s life as an artist.
Much of the work in this exhibition did not exist until a date was set for the show. Evolving partly during Torres’ recent nine-month stint in southern California, the new work is informed by Torres’ upbringing as the daughter of a chemistry teacher and relates to the artist’s “superstring” drawings from the 1990s. Combining ceramic and reed, these new forms create a “floating world.” Intertwined human and reed figures evoke an eerie gravitational pull. These heavenbound/earthbound forms incorporate small ceramic abstracts that, according to Torres, “are like memory banks for each figure.”
Maye Torres earned a degree in art from the University of New Mexico and apprenticed with artist Ted Egri, who had encouraged her to interact with his sculptures when she was a child and would later do the same with her children. At Ted’s recommendation, Torres later apprenticed with artist Larry Bell in order to learn about cutting-edge media. Torres’ drawings, sculpture, and ceramics incorporate ideas from science, technology, religion, spirituality, politics, and popular culture, and are particularly remarkable for, as noted by writer Dory Hulbert, “a subterranean atavism that hearkens back to the pre-Columbian Americas, and which may arise from genetic memory.”
Torres’ family roots extend thirteen generations back in the Taos area. As noted by Dory Hulbert, “According to family history, (Torres’) forebears include the influential Padre Antonio Jose Martinez (1793-1867), who played a defining role in New Mexico religion, education, and politics throughout its Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. periods. Reflecting on this legacy, Torres notes that “I feel eternally connected to the land, its people, and the magic because of it”.