The Corn God Returns From The Underworld / mixed media

the-corn-god-returns-from-the-underworld

I’m excited because this collage I did a few years ago got a lot of attention yesterday at the art opening of the James River Art League, at the Montpelier Art Center!

It was inspired by the Maya legend and I tried to copy their style of illustration. I have a good book about the Maya titled “The Maya” by Michael D. Coe. One thing I remember from this book is that it wasn’t too difficult for the Spanish who invaded Central America to convert the Maya to Christianity because there are similarities between the two religions, a resurrection being one important story.

This is how the story goes, if I remember correctly. The Corn God was in the Underworld. That’s him, with the green sprout coming out of his head, in my collage. The two guys paddling the canoe are gods who were sent to rescue him. It’s a dangerous trip, and they could all get killed in some violent bloody way. If the Corn God doesn’t make it back to the Maya city, the crop will fail and the people will starve.

The two girls in the canoe are virgins sent to wait on the Corn God. They’re offering him food and water. Later, at their ceremony, the virgins will be sacrificed and the Corn God will be drenched in their blood. Yes, they really did sacrifice virgins. They were a bloody tough tribe that didn’t fear pain or death.

The Maya, never boring, always an inspiration.

Dios de los Jalapenos / sculpture

Lets talk about art, food and multiculturalism.

Lets talk about art, food and multiculturalism.


My inspiration came from my book “The Maya” by Michael D. Coe. I learned so much from that book and the art is great.

Sometimes artists say they don’t know what to do next and their friends tell them to do what you like, do what you know. I’d say it’s more fun to do something foreign to you. Look outside your own life for inspiration.

You don’t have to be Mexican to like tacos and make your own tacos. You don’t have to be PA. Dutch to draw hex signs. If I saw an artist of another race drawing hex signs would I say “You can’t do that because you’re not PA. Dutch.”? NO! I’d be hoping their next project would be a Shoo Fly Pie. It’s true the best steak sandwiches are in Southeast PA. But they make some here that aren’t bad.

Artists, you don’t have to be 100% true to the style you want to use. Take the elements you like and make them your own. Experimentation and exploration are much more rewarding than doing the same thing over and over again. Don’t fear the multicultural community. Use it.

I’m entering this sculpture at the Henry St. Gallery in Richmond VA. in July. The theme is Gods and Goddesses. Opening night is the 1st Fri. in July. Come on down and see the new god in person.

5 photos from Rebirthing the Classics opening night at Art6

debriefing follows

debriefing follows

This shot shows the hall looking towards the front door on Broad St. with my work on both sides. The camera shots on the wall show the original masterpieces from the VMFA and Hollywood Cemetery that are the inspiration for each piece. Last Sat. was the day to take our entries to Art6. I loaded up my car in the morning and got there at noon. As I was unloading my work in the gallery Helene talked about putting my smaller pieces in the hall. That meant a bigger showing for me so I drove home and loaded my car again. I also brought 4 landscapes and some things I made up from my imagination. They don’t all fit the theme but it’s ok because they show continuity.

The Flayed One at VMFA

How cool is this guy !

The plaque at the museum says this is an ancient Mexican god who is shown wearing the skin of another human. (evidently not a modern horror idea) The peeling off of skin represents rebirth like a kernel of corn sprouting. I think this is the corn god. It looks like corn kernels under his skin. And those legs look like corn stalks going into the ground with feet not for walking.

 
I drew it  in 2011 and it makes me want to get some clay and do sculptures of primitive figures. You can see the drawing on my web site.