Acrylic and mixed media on panel,
72"h x 84"w, Item No. 18195, On Hold
“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”Carlos Santana
“We are nothing if we walk alone; we are everything when we walk together in step with other dignified feet.” Subcomandante Marcos
Las Mariachis, the signature piece of Passion, Pathos, and the Human Potential; was created in celebration of feminine grace, strength, and solidarity; of Mexican culture; and of Music— in all of its astonishing manifestations.
Few places on Earth have endured the level of hardship, oppression, exploitation, and violence, that Mexico has endured at the hands of colonial and corporate powers. Yet few places have as rich and consistent a level of culture that Mexico has. The Pathos its people continue to suffer is continuously transformed, through passion, into sublime and inspiring Poetry, Music, Cinema, Literature, Architecture, and Art. Much of this high culture has been directly informed and inspired by Mexico’s many Indigenous civilizations and communities— both past and present. The ephemera— ie the post-consumer waste I have layered onto the painting makes reference to all of the above elements of Mexican culture: Mayan matchbooks, pages from a History of Mexico textbook, Loteria cards, Spanish colonial Saints, posters from Indigenous rights demonstrations, and cuban cigar wrappers given to me by a girl in a Mexican smoke shop. .
I have highlighted feminine strength and solidarity through the use of trash that contains features pictures of women: fashion posters from Nigeria, Pakistani Henna boxes, a Guadalupe candle wrapper from Mexico, a “Girl Gang” postcard found on the streets of Albuquerque. I’ve also used small paper proclamations from a protest I attended in Buenos Aires against violence toward women and LGBTQ+. Torn Argentinian and Peruvian posters for live music events and Ella Fitzgerald stamps pay homage to Music.
Above all, Las Mariachis is meant to be a joyful and uplifting piece portraying female musicians working in a genre long-dominated by mostly men. The women reflect to a small extent the diversity of beauty— not just in Mexico, but in the World. Their strength both as professional musicians— and as Human beings moving forward into the Future lies in their solidarity: as it does for all of us.