It is ironic that I am nursing an annoying head cold on the day one of my favorite saints lost his head; puts things in a bit of perspective.
I have loved John since boyhood, his severed head had been burnt into my consciousness at a very young age. My family had visited Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful Monticello and in one of the bedrooms was a painting of that awful moment when John’s head was being presented on a platter. The image burnt in deeply, I was so confused, had Jefferson executed John ?( I was quite young ), I knew he held slaves, a grave sin, in my wild imagination it could have been true. The head represented tragedy,sacrifice, bondage , perhaps release. It terrified and beguiled all at once. I have never lost that fascination and I have returned to the subject over and over. One of my great pleasures in discovering the Popol vuh has been the intense similarities between the Maya narrative and that of the western Christian narrative. The Maize God loses his head in a similar act of sacrifice, difficult to not see the similarities.
The following images are just some of my interpretations of the Maize God’s severed head.
detail from a larger composition
detail from a watercolor, “Primavera”.
watercolor, “Resurrection of the Father, II “.
its relief print companion, also called “Resurrection of the Father”.
another watercolor called “Resurrection of the Father , I”.
another relief print “Strange Fruit”
I have just finished, or nearly so, my last marionette , that of the head of the Maize God ; rather uncomplicated really, all it has to do is ascend.
I will need to take better images of the marionette tableau when I am feeling better, but for now, have a happy feast day of blessed Jokonaan.