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Growing up I remember going on many field trips to the museums San Antonio has to offer. As a young child, you view things as ‘cool, pretty, ugly’, and you often hear a lot of ‘I don’t get it”s. It has been quite some years since the last time I walked through a museum, that I don’t think I ever realized what they quite have to offer. Now as a young adult, I felt inspiration, had a lot of realization, and a better understanding on what all of these artists have been trying to portray to the people who observe their work.
As I walked through the McNay Art Museum, I was in awe of every piece I saw. In my visit, I found three pieces that stood out to me that represented self, spirituality, and family.
‘Delfina Flores’ constructed by artist Diego Rivera in 1927, highlighted the features and characteristics of a young girl of the Mexican descent.
Diego Rivera was of the Mexican descent, born, raised, and passed, in the country of Mexico. His artistry was known for his ability to reflect his Mexican heritage into his pieces. The painting exhibited the clothing and jewelry worn by the Hispanic culture in a less modern time. The dark hair, and dark colored skin, are the physical characteristics he personally features, which comes from his genetic heritage background.
Another piece was the Mestiza Virgin, by artist Sam Coronado in 2000. ‘Mestiza’ meaning crossbreed or ‘mixed’ refers to the half Indian and half Spanish Virgin Mary, who is mostly honored by the people of the Christianity religion.
The Virgin Mary became very popular and honorable in the Spanish rule that they started referring it to as La Guadalupana. Replicating the Virgin Mary, she was added with a blue cloak, as seen in the portrait, stars embroidered on the cloak, also shown, and a mandorla of light surrounding her. The image of La Guadalupe relates to Immaculate Conception imagery, which drew aspects of its symbolism from the Bible. For instance, the Bible describes the Woman of the Apocalypse as “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” In Coronado’s painting, you can see the yellow rays that sound her, portraying a reference to the crown of stars referred to in the book.
Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), was represented in Patassi Valdez’s painting, November 2, in 1998. The Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico where friends and family come together to pray for and remember friends and family who have died, and to help support their spiritual journey. In Patassi’s image, he displayed the traditional marigold flowers used on this holiday, due to their meaning of ‘flower of the dead’. A picture of a woman was displayed as well, as done in the Mexican tradition, where pictures of the loved lost ones are hung up in their remembrance.
Visiting the San Antonio Museum of Art provided me with a great amount of diversity in the human culture, the humanities, and and abilities individuals have to create a sense for these. With museums such as so, we are provided as a community with the opportunity to explore art and it’s true definitions.
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