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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blue Hair

Blue Hair, Acrylic and Water-soluble crayon on canvas, 16" x 20", 2008
Poem: "Fly, Soul, Fly" from Destellos de Sofía, a new handmade book of poetry

I created this painting in 2008 from a drawing I had done about a year earlier, at night, together with the one titled "Sunflowers." Then one day, a friend called me to bring some paintings to be exhibited at the Community Board office, and I decided to paint this canvas with materials that could dry faster than oil paint, my usual medium of choice. I used acrylic paint and my other favorite material, water-soluble crayons. The result was pleasing to me, a painting that I have had hanging in my own living room until a couple weeks ago, when I brought it back up to my studio in the hope of tuning into it again for the new series that I have been calling "Sacred Garden" and "Goddesses of El Yunque."

For years, I have been wanting to get closer to my own culture through painting, but in a way that did not involve the usual symbols of nationality or a social/political perspective. I wanted a symbol that I could create within my own style and that would be sincere, universal and spiritual. So when two wonderful women somewhat and somehow identified this image with a Taíno goddess, I felt that I had found the connection between my own style, my desire to create something related to my culture and the universality I strive for in all my work.

Blue Hair then becomes the inspiration for a new series of work. I look forward to painting large canvases with one or more figures accompanied by animals and plants from the island of Puerto Rico and maybe the rest of the Greater Antilles, drawing on Taíno symbolism and my own mythology/iconography.

As I always tell my son, "Great Goddess of History, help me!" This time, I think she heard me!

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