Zenil, (Fulgencio) Nahum B(ernarbé)
- Teresa Eckmann
(b Chicontepec, Veracruz, Jan 1, 1947).
Mexican draughtsman, printmaker, painter, and illustrator. Zenil is known for his reworking of recognizable Pop Mexicanist imagery—or known icons of Mexicanismo (mexicanidad; Mexican identity and culture)—such as the Mexican flag, sacred heart, Virgin of Guadalupe, calaveras (skulls), and lotería (Mexican bingo) symbols among others—while collapsing boundaries of the sacred and the profane and challenging the heteronormative. Zenil has been dubbed a member of the stylistic movement neomexicanidad (Neo-Mexicanism), alongside such Mexican artists as Javier de la Garza (b 1954), Julio Galán, and Rocío Maldonado. Zenil has acknowledged Enrique Guzmán (1952–86) as the initiator of Neo-Mexicanism in his work Oh Santa Bandera (a Enrique Guzmán) (1996; Mexico City, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), which is a reworking Guzmán’s ¡Oh! Santa bandera! (1977) that reiterates Guzmán’s early ironic reinterpretation of Mexican iconography as cultural critique.
A pioneer of Mexican Post-modernism in using strategies of appropriation, fragmentation, parody, and text, Zenil rejected the dominant style of ...