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june - november 2020

50 X 40 CM

Stamen and Campeche wax on wooden panel (Huichiol textile technique)

real price: $2,000 USD

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This piece is a brief illustration of a chaotic year (2020) that often has been interpreted as the end of an era. "Happy" is the first of a series that explores, with a pinch of humor, the icons and images that permeate the collective consciousness during a time of unprecedented uncertainty. 

The technique used to create this artwork belongs to one of the most fascinating cultures and traditions that exist within the Mexican cultural mosaic, the "Huichol". This community is settled mainly in the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Durango, San Luís Potosí and Zacatecas, zones where their work can be acquired firsthand. They have developed several crafts, but the one in question consists of covering a wooden panel with wax, preferably obtained from the region of Campeche (located at the West of the Yucatán Peninsula), and of using string to create shapes and to add color by sticking it in strategic ways.

In its imagery, the Huichol culture values and emphasizes the concept of duality. Often, Huichol art will feature suns and moons, farmers, deer, corn, bugs, snakes, and geometrical abstract patterns. These elements put together symbolize, within the community's ideology, communication with their gods, the cycle of life and death, and the exploration of altered mental states provoked by substances such as peyote.

"Happy" is mostly a technical approach to the Huichol craft, but the artist chose the symbols and their arrangement based on the Huichol principles. Please take a minute to observe the work, and find the technical as well as the conceptual similarities between the original Huichol Art and "Happy".

Key concepts:

white supremacy / patriarchy / covid-19 / capitalism / war climate change / inequality

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