Quetzalcoatl/From the Late Stages of the 5th Sun

Dimensions Date
Top Panel: 12” x 12” x 1”

Left Panel: 8” x 8” x 1”

Base: 18” x 37” x 3.5”

Overall dimensions: 20” x 61” x 3.5”

2020
Materials
Top Panel: raw masa, drugstore makeup, and beeswax on wood panel.

Left Panel: Masa migajon cracked slab, drugstore makeup, hair from the artist’s first haircut in New York City, and epoxy on wood panel.

Base: Cotton, fringe, masa migajon in the shape of cholla-wood/vertebrae, and commercially beaded adornments purchased from a trim shop in Garment District-NYC, mounted on wood.

Description
Material list functions as primary description.

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Quetzalcoatl, or “the plummed serpent” is a Mesoamerican cultural hero and deity, known as the god of intelligence, craft, self-reflection, creation, and the giver of maize. Many Mesoamerican civilizations and cultures claim direct descendance from Quetzalcoatl.

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Drawing parallels to the various ways desert plants (such as cholla) create biological copies of themselves and spread naturally either by propagation (literally pieces of the plant falling off or being carried by animals and then re-rooting into the ground and growing where they lay) or via the production of suckers (a new plant growth that develops at the rootstock), the artist claims a carbon copy lineage to both the desert and to the spirit of Quetzalcoatl.

Additional Information
It is said that our current world is the Age of the 5th Sun, which came about after Quetzalcoatl used his own blood to restore life from the bones of the Fourth Sun (the land of the dead).

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Migajon is a culturally significant craft and is often a resourceful skill utilized by matriarchs as a way to bridge the gap of family need with family income. It involves the creation of a clay body—usually a mixture of glue and day-old bread sourced from the rubbish of local bakeries. Once formed and dried, pieces (usually flowers) are often painted and assembled into domestic decorative pieces and sold at fairs of bazars; the money earned is often used to buy masa (cornmeal) for the family table. Here, the artist uses the tradition of migajon to create representations of cholla-wood/vertebrae instead of flowers and replaces day-old bread with masa and cornstarch (using the material often seen as the end result or  goal of the process) to further navigate the cultural, celebratory, and spiritual associations masa holds in both ancient and contemporary Mexican households.

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