Sunday, May 24, 2009

Exhibiting my Madonna series in Santa Fe

I'm in New Mexico this week delivering my paintings to El Museo Cultural in Santa Fe, NM. This series of contemporary paintings is from my Hispanic Heritage Series. My work is based on the traditional retablo form, but with contemporary imagery of Madonnas such as the Guadalupe, Conquistadora and others. What puts my images into the contemporary definition is that I "remake" the traditional iconic images rather than painting a verbatim image. 

The art exhibit  at El Museo Cultural is titled: Reshaping the Divine - Contemporary Hispanic Retablos Exploring the Sacred Feminine, by Cristina Ortiz Acosta.  I use a longer version of my name for my Hispanic Heritage Series in homage to my New Mexican ancestors. 

In New Mexico, my grandmother's family were referred to as "Spanish", a term that is still used today. In New Mexico, being a Mexican American or Chicano has a different meaning than in the rest of the United States because those terms do not specifically denote the Hispanic people that have been in this part of North America for over 4 centuries and still refer to themselves as Spanish. The variety of ways to describe oneself or others is  kind of confusing if you're not aware of the meanings.

The reason I'm bringing this up is to describe the cultural context my series of retablo paintings are part of -- the conceptual foundation is the New Mexican or Spanish retablo and ex-voto traditions of my Ortiz ancestors.

It's very satisfying to work with the Madonna theme -- I love the nuances of meaning I consider with my choices of imagery, shapes and color. 

This exhibit of my contemporary New Mexican Spanish retablos of madonnas is through Summer 2009 at El Museo Cultural, 615 #B Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM. 

Note: Image is titled  Running Meditation

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