Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Athena and her owl

On this second painting I was inspired by the divine figure of Athena, the Greek goddess of Wisdom, culture and the arts.  In ancient Greece she was the protector of the state, agriculture, industry, culture, law and order. She also stand for the virtue of prudence specially in war. The owl and the serpent are her sacred animals. There are many surviving representations of the ancient virgin goddess in statues, vases, coins and paintings. After doing some research on her story and attributes I started a painting based on a classical sculpture and from there added my own updated interpretation. I decided to portray her solemnly at night holding a spear and  a  white owl. Behind her lies a cemetery with a large pantheon like tomb housing a figure that subtly resembles that of the Virgin Mary and child. In the background we see electric posts that seem desolate and functionless as vegetation starts to grow over them. In the distant dark landscape we find artificial lights that hint the existence of a distant city. This picture is asking us to think about the myth of Athena in relation to our own civilization and its so called "modern progress". The goddess stares right at us as if waiting for us to respond to our current state of the world. Where are we heading to? It is a small painting measuring 10.5 inches by 14.5 inches. It is an oil painting on wood panel. The frame was made by my wife Blanca. It is wood and gold leaf with an application of the metal embossing technique in the inner part of it. This is the second completed piece of the series of paintings for "Eradorada" (Golden Age) There should 21 in total.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Proud to present: "Rebirth of Venus" (Venus Revive)

After several weeks of hard work one of my new works is finally done and here am sharing it in blog

"Rebirth of Venus"   (Venus Revive)
Oil and gold leaf on wood carved frame retablo 25.5" x 17.5"

The work is a tribute to classical antiquity and mythology but at the same time it is imbued with a message about contemporary culture. It is a reminder of how ephemeral our world today can be in comparison to ancient notions such as beauty and love.Venus is 'revived' in a new world where we find dilapidated billboards  a sunken ship and ephemeral consumer junk around a contaminated coastal area. Out of an old broken tire a plant grows persistently and in the center Venus stands sensuous unveiling her nudity unashamed. Three angels representing the races of man accompany the goddess. The depction of the yellow cloth Venus is holding, the yellow necklace worn by the black angel and the shell he carries suggest that the Santeria Orisha Oshun and the Greek Olympian Aphrodite are the same and one entity, both sensual and spiritual. I am even more interested now in bringing these belief systems together in opposition to the materialist world where we live in. With this in mind I intend to remind the viewer of his of her forgotten spiritual heritage buried under so much mass media waste and consumer products. But as it is implicit in the work, in the end, Nature and what is pure shall prevail.On the top escutcheon  an epithet reads Vivat Venus, which in english would be translated as "Long Live Venus".