I finished this painting last week. Certain elements of the painting are experimental, most specifically the use of canvas cutouts applied to the canvas. Inspired by Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ use of maquettes, I created figures and attached them to the canvas.
It was frankly a naive understanding of how to use Clive’s technique; I have since come to better understand the actual approach. I confess I would not suggest my version, it was a bit cumbersome, difficult to remedy errors.
But in the end I rather like the finished painting, a little macabre puppet theatre devoted to the Mayan Underworld.
In this admittedly theatric depiction we witness two acts. On the left the Maize God Hun Hunahpu is sacrificied by the treacherous Lords of Xibalba. The Maize God’s head is placed upon the proscenium, in the Popol vuh it is placed upon the upper branches the calabash tree.
On the right, the celestial ball payers, the Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque redeem their fathers honor.
The following are details of the Sacrifice and the Redemption. In the sacrifice, the snakes pouring out of the torso are a reference to the Mesoamerican tradition of portraying spilt blood as snakes.That really is a very clever idea, I can imagine streams of blood seeming as frightful as venomous snakes.
The following is a detail of the Lords of Xibalba.
For now that is it. I am finishing up another painting from the Popol vuh series, plus one devoted to Perseus and Andromedus, yes a male Andromeda. In what my friend Clive refers to as gay revisionism I am claiming this much loved theme for my gay self.
This painting, Sacrifice and Redemption caused one of my professors concern in that it might offend Chicano machismo sensibilities. She felt I should reconsider the nudity. I cannot, I see almost all of my characters in the buff, through a quasi Classical perspective. I was taken aback by her suggestion, particularly as she holds a Phd in Renaissance art history. But there you go!
Take care, LG
I realized after making the post the head of the Maize God had become clipped, I confess I may very well be the worst photographer ever. I intend to remedy that by taking a class in the Autumn. Until that time, patience please.