ESP (1964). Lives and works in Seville.
Alianza del tomaco, 2014 – Multimedia installation
Federico Guzman is an analytical, poetic, and imaginative visual artist with a diverse body of work that defies easy classification. By participating both in individual and collective projects he works to raise awareness and a sense of social responsibility in the fields of free culture, human rights and ecology. He sees his artistic work as a means of helping the world and an unlimited source of knowledge and self-realization.
Ten years ago, as both an artist and a naturalist, Guzman undertook the search for the tomacco, a fantasy plant that became a reality. The tomacco became famous thanks to The Simpsons. In the fable, the iconic Homer Simpson becomes a farmer and accidentally discovers the tomacco, a mutant tomato and tobacco hybrid that turns every casual taster into a dangerous addict. The piece presented at the biennial, Alianza del tomaco, is a multimedia installation that describes this process combining a variety of materials and artistic disciplines.
In a journey through fact and fiction, the artist has copied this invention and begun to grow it. The tomato and the tobacco belong to the same family of plants, the Solanaceae, which allows for this graft. As a product of conversations with naturalists, farmers, and shamans, as well as through careful study, he has planted and tended it in lands stretching from Spain—in Andalucía and Extremadura—to the Sahara and Colombia, bringing this creature from art to ecology and from the back patio to crops across the globe.