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Enrique Chagoya, 'The Enlightened Savage Guide to Economic Theory, 2009-10.


Read-through: Enrique Chagoya, The Enlightened Savage Guide to Economic Theory, 2009-10. Acrylic, water based oils, decals, collage, solvent transfers and pencil on handmade amate paper, 15 1/2 x 109 inches. 

Enrique Chagoya's codices are, in fact, books, in the tradition of ancient Mesoamerican texts. He employs the same amate paper and accordion format, read right to left, while updating the pictorial language with recognizable, contemporary images.


Chagoya's satirical technique of "reverse anthropology" upends appropriation by depicting Western cultures from the perspective of those they colonized. As in most of his work, this codex draws from a wide array of historical, literary and pop-culture references, in a biting critique of economic power and the concentration of wealth. The Enlightened Savage Guide to Economic Theory, 2009-10, was part of a larger body of work on the 'Enlightened Savage,' questioning the validity of cultural identity. 


To view more examples of Chagoya's work, head to his Artist Page.