I am quite glad to have things slow down a bit at last. I have really enjoyed the project, but it was also at times a bit stressful with the pace that I was attempting to keep up. As I begin to look back on it, it is very clearly worth the effort put forth. The process truly mimiced the sense of the city. So many things everywhere all the time. The process of painting throughout was something like this.
In the past few days, I have been working on finishing up these three large paintings, and am quite happy with how they are coming along. These pieces are reflective of the larger Aztec mythology that underlies daily life here in Mexico city. I am additionally inserting fragmented elements of European and Colonial painting, which has also affected the people here in significant ways and are a part of contemporary daily life and class structures. There are so many complex layers to what comprises this place. It is endlessly fascinating.
I spoke to Tatiana Cuevas Guevara for a final time today at SOMA, and it was nice to reflect back a little on what I have produced during my time here. There are things that we had discussed and questioned which now seem settled as a result of my being able to test things out and get a better vision of it all. I am feeling confident in the presence of the work.
I also had a studio visit with Barbara Perea, who is a Mexico City based curator, critic and lecturer. She was less familiar with my work, so I reviewed projects that I have produced in the recent past, which gave me an interesting overview as to how all of this fits in to the bigger picture of my work as an evolving artist. I am curious as to how it will feel to make art again back at home once I leave here. It is hard to imagine.
I finished the second painting in this series of three large canvases. The narrative in this piece involves the story of Coyolxauhqui, who was a daughter of Coatlicue and Mixcoatl, and is the leader of the southern star gods, whom I have discussed before… but I will jog your memory a bit. In Aztec mythology, the story of Coyolxauhqui is as follows: While the pious and chaste ancestral mother Coatlicue was sweeping on Coatepec (sacred mountain), she found a ball of feathers that she hid in the hem of her skirt. Unknowingly, by these feathers, she became pregnant with Huitzilopochtli (god of war and sun). When her other children and her daughter Coyolxauhqui heard of this mysterious pregnancy, they were offended and went to Coatepec to kill their mother. Upon arrival, Huitzilopochtli sprang from his mother’s womb in full armor and met them. He killed Coyolxahqui and her other 400 brothers who had been about to attack his mother. Huitzilopochtli threw his sister’s body down the slope of the mountain, tearing it to pieces.
Hhhmmm… now that I think of it, I am not quite finished yet with this one. I do want to add some feathers to this piece. More to come!