Mexican artist Sergio Arau, also known as ‘El Uyuyuy’, is a versatile creator. As well as finding fame as a singer and songwriter, he’s been a director, screenwriter, producer, animator, cartoonist and painter, and has even created his own artistic style.
His music mixes traditional Mexican sounds with rock and roll and blues. His themes are Mexican by nature, portraying the proud values and traditions of the country, and expressing the Mexican identity according to Sergio Arau.
Just as every word of his songs demonstrates his pride on being Mexican, so does every image he paints. Arau describes his artwork – a colourful and vivid melange of Lucha Libre wrestlers, tattooed ladies, angels, cherubs and traditional Mexican symbols (often all in the same painting) – as ‘Art Naco’.
He explains, “Mexico is a classist society, where the high class, made up of a few families, own everything and control everything. And hence all other Mexicans are ‘Nacos’, working class. So what I have done is create the visual or concrete element of what that means, which has become ‘Art Naco’. I’ve taken what is lowbrow or working class and made it something to celebrate, through art”.
About the frequent Mexican wrestling themes in his art, Arau explains, “Lucha is something that I love, and it is aimed at the masses”, just as ‘Art Naco’ is also for all Mexican people. Regardless of whether they’re rich or poor, Arau wants to make his art accessible to them.
Not everyone can afford original artwork, and even if they could, they may well not have the space to hang it. One way an artist can make sure his or her work can be enjoyed by the largest number of people is to reproduce it on attractive but also functional items, such as clothing, crockery or bed linen. This is where dye sublimation printing comes in.
“What interests me most is that my art reaches many people, so when I became aware of sublimation… I was mesmerised”, says Arau, “because now I can reproduce my works of art perfectly, but on a variety of objects, not just canvas”.
When he found out about dye sublimation printing, Sergio Arau contacted MTM Solutions in Mexico City to discuss the possibilities. “One of the artists that approached us was Sergio”, says David Villarreal, CEO of MTM Solutions. “The main benefit for artists of using digital dye sublimation is that they can accurately reproduce the true colours of their art”.
He goes on to explain, “Sergio Arau has used digital dye-sublimation extensively to reproduce his artwork on a variety of objects like phone cases, mugs, and other everyday items”.
Shaid Gallo, in MTM Solutions’ operations department, continues, “Sergio is a very particular artist, and pays a lot of attention to detail. He expects the reproductions to have the same colour expression as his artworks, which are filled with details. I think Sergio makes his own world via his art”.
Dye-sublimation printing has allowed Sergio to make his work recognisable throughout Mexico, and allow people of all social strata to own a piece of it. It also capably demonstrates the versatility and vivid reproduction of Epson dye-sublimation printers. In essence, it’s the perfect balance between artist, product and customer.
Sergio Arau always looks towards the future. “There are still many things I still need to do”, he says. “I feel people are waiting for me to create something new. Technology allows me to express my new ideas one after the other. The rules by which art is made are constantly changing, and digital dye-sublimation opens up new possibilities for my art. I want to keep exploring those possibilities through this new medium”.