I was recently asked to participate in a collective exhibition , the theme being The Afterlife. Ordinarily I avoid these mass group shows as they tend to be more inclined to spectacle and keeping the masses entertained (as the public never seems sated, craving new sensation after new sensation, we makers are asked to accommodate). But the curators are well regarded , one I know and respect, the art critic Shana Nys Dambrot, and it is after all a subject of keen personal interest.
El Velorio, as these annual celebrations of Dia de los Muertos are known center around a mass call for art, all loosely tied by a single element, participants receive ,via post, an object to base the work, this year it was a stock wooden cross.
The image above is my contribution.
Resurrection of the Maize God (and the Miraculous Birth of the Hero Twins) was inspired by the Popol vuh narrative in which the Maize God is slain/sacrificed and from this loss, new life, in this case the immaculate birth of the Hero Twins. An old familiar story, found across peoples, from John Barleycorn to Jesus Christ.
I had several years ago made the polymer clay heads for puppets, the puppets didn’t quite work out, but my rat-packing paid off as new life was found is this work. Unfortunately , from social media comments, the Hero Twin budding corncobs read as feet to the crucified Maize God.
I don’t read it that way, but it seems the public, in a mad dash to the next sensation, rarely actually observes.
That said, the work is available, along with many other very well crafted offerings October 12th at the Plaza de la Raza here in LA. I am told it is quite an event, very festive, costumed revelers. La Plaza de la Raza is a very fine art hub, actively community based and a vital center of artmaking; 40% of sales will benefit this wonderful resource.
Link to the event follows:http:/https://www.facebook.com/ElVelorio