Efraín Astorga Garay

Efraín Astorga Garay (b. 1977, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico) is an artist whose work encompasses many disciplines, including drawing, comics, hip-hop music, puppetry, and theater. At the end of the 1990s and beginning of the 2000s, he was active in the political and social activist movements in Juárez by creating art and graphics for protests. Previously, he was a member of the Fronte Toons collective based in Ciudad Juárez. He worked for eight years at the Fundación Rarámuri Voces Indígenas as an illustrator and workshop presenter with the Tarahumara Community. Throughout his life he has collaborated in art projects and acted as an independent cultural promoter within the urban musical scene. In addition to the production of comics, he currently works as an urban artist, producing comics, and presenting his Makiloko Machin Marionetas puppet show in different parts of the city of Juárez, such as parks, street markets, schools, and private parties.

Vignette from Historia del Makiloko

The Makiloko character came into being in the year 2000 as the result of the artist’s experience working in the maquiladora industry. The term has an ambivalent connotation in this context since it is used pejoratively to speak of a certain type of employee. Generally migrants, these employees were seen as working like robots, due to their capacity for hard work and constant exceeding of production goals, which raised the bar and made more work for everyone. As a result, they were rapidly promoted; this aroused distrust among the local workers. Makiloko represented the robot-like workers (symbolized through the image of a human being with a robot’s head). With the passing of time, Astorga realized that some employees proudly identified with Makiloko as the opposite of a lazy worker. Robotic activities soon extended to most aspects of people’s daily lives, which gave rise to the concept Makiloko (crazy machine), that in turn paved the way for a project in which the artist makes use of all his art disciplines. The universe he creates is both fantastic and realistic, and hinges on the pride of being or not being Makiloko.