I’m winding down (for now), on the creation of my pantheon of gods, demons and beasties. I spent much of yesterday and today finishing up the Hero Twins, central players in the Popol vuh.
My very first maquette, link, was of Xblanque, one of the Maize God’s sons, I wasn’t very happy with him from the start but after a few revisions (mostly a spray tan) I’m happier. I ditched his Roman warrior helmet for one of Olmec design. I also added jaguar markings as he is traditionally depicted with patches of jaguar skin.
His brother (in my mind, the younger, slighter, prettier Twin) is Hunahpu, the Spotted One, I have just finished up.
The paint is a bit tacky.
Now that they are complete, I look forward to creating compositions, most particularly revenge upon the Lords of Xibalba for sacrificing their father the Maize God, Hun Hunahpu.
It really is a bit like playing with paper dolls.
I am taking satisfaction with the fact that due to my great many characters I can now cobble together multiple compositions with increasingly complex narrative, in this case Hunahpu menaced by the wrathful Quetzacoatl.
Clive had asked for some images of my process of creating maquettes, I confess I have never taken photos of the “before”, too much adrenaline to slow down. When creating my figures I am biting at the bit to see them come alive-I’m beginning to understand God’s delight in playing with mud.
With that pompous comment floating about, the following is an image of the uncut royal headdresses which are based upon Olmec design.
The design from which I drew inspiration is from an Olmec altar stone depicting an acrobat in motion. Upon his head he is wearing a headdress notable for its reference to the Maize God. Most striking is the tripartite, curiously phallic shaped maize emblem which crowns the headdress. The three part maize emblem occurs time and again, the emerging corn symbolizing fertility and abundance. The acrobat, most likely in a frenzy due to hallucinogens and ritual blood-letting, is recreating through dance, the narrative of the Maize God’s ritual sacrifice and rebirth.
I find this all terribly fascinating, I hope it doesn’t bore reader to tears.
80 x 20 cm
Museo de Arte Precolombino, Guatemala
So far, this has been great fun, I have been painting, but the images are blurry due to the intimate size. After the pups have their walkies I will return to a quiet studio to paint-demons await me!
Good night folks.