Jorge TORRES LÓPEZ
Birthplace: Ciudad de México, México
scholarship holder of AMFPA since: 1982
Painting Method: Mouth painter
I was born on June 4, 1943 in the City of Mexico, Mexico.
My family was very humble but we grew sorrounded with love.
After finishing grade school I started high school since my greatest dream was to become a public accountant.
My grandmother liked the idea of me becoming a professional, but due to our poor financial situation we could not afford my studies. So I looked for work to be able to continue studying.
From the very first year I gave it my best effort in all the subjects, specially standing out in clay modeling, plasticine and drawing. I also liked physical education and sports in general.
Almost at the end of the third year I started having some physical discomforts. I started feeling pain in my knees and elbows continuously. The pain would then extend to my whole body.
My alarmed grandmother took me to see the doctor who prescribed a treatment. During a few weeks I felt some improvement in my condition and with much effort I was able to finish the school term. I then had such a violent relapse that I had to be taken to the hospital.
I was diagnosed with a massive Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it was recommended that I be taken to the Nutritional Hospital for treatment. There I was treated by various specialists who, for a period of six months, prescribed the best medications that existed at that time (1958) but, unfortunately, my health did not improve.
I was given cortisone and diverse treatments. My circulatory system became seriously affected and the muscles in my extremities became totally debilitated, which resulted in my bed confinement for life.
A period of almost ten years went by between medicines and hospitals. My family and I were totally exhausted and discouraged by such efforts and few results.
In search of a way to contribute to the family´s income, I asked my brother to get me some sketching cardboard and pencils with the intention of making some drawings with my mouth, hoping they might sell them.
The first ones I attempted were not good. The space between my mouth and the paper was too short, which made it difficult for me to trace. One day I saw an aluminum tube lying around and I asked my brother to insert the pencil in one side so I could try to trace better, and it worked!
During the following months I improved my drawing technique with this small invention until I found a better one. On one occasion, my brother came home from work with a small aquarium with fish. I then noticed that the air filter had small plastic tubes like the aluminum one I was using to sketch and I asked him immediately to get one as a substitute. This did the trick and it was much better since plastic weights less than the aluminum.
Years went by and over time I became overpowered by a dark disenchantment. I could not see a real productive solution to my life. I prayed a lot to God to shed some light on my journey.
One day I woke up and turned on the television. It was in 1981 and, as part of the programming, I saw an interview with Mr. Demetrio Herrera Olivares, a foot painter who was a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists in Mexico.
It was news to me to learn that someone was capable of painting with the foot and also to know that an Association that supported people like me existed.
I immediately got in contact to get information on the Association and proceeded to send them my work so I could be accepted as a scholarship grantee.
Finally in 1982 I became a member of this wonderful Association which would give my life an incredible turnaround. Even now, after twenty years of being a member, it is difficult for me to evaluate all that I have received: friendships, exhibition forums, financial security, marketing of my work, support to continue improving myself as an artist and, above all, the enormous satisfaction of becoming a useful person to my family, to society and for myself.
Since God has allowed me to get to where I am in life, I have been able to understand that we should never bemoan about life´s adversities because there will always be a light that will guide us. For now, I will continue living to paint, and painting to live.