I AM ONE WITH THE JAGUAR
This is a series of spells and poems that will protect me and guide me through my journey into the underworld. The spells/poems are based on the Mayan language which used logograms complemented with a set of syllabic glyphs. The process begins with a meditation session to reveal a vision/message for each piece then I create the artwork. I have always been obsessed with the preparation and training required for my soul to enter the underworld and the path that my artwork will create to guide me into this unknown experience.
In this sculpture, I am materializing a vision from Chichaan asking the Mayan Gods God A and God L for permission to use my hands in the underworld and the afterlife. I honor and sacrifice them in this lifetime so when I transition into the afterlife through the cave, I can have access to them again. There are two original spells I wrote, one on each hand, asking for permission. To decipher them, start with the right hand (your left) from top to bottom then the same for the left hand ending in the knuckles.
This SHRINE is inspired by a story taken from the Mayan Jaguar Stone Books – It’s the tale of The Kaloomte’ Bahlam who battled his younger brother Lord Tzelek for control of the empire. The glyphs on top of the painting tell this unique story which reads: “Lord 6 Dog, Holy Lord of the Jaguar Kingdom – the Kalomte’, battled against Lord Tzelek his younger brother”.
DRESDEN CODEX LEAF (1 – 4), 2020, paint, marker and scratches on clay, 24.4 x 10 inches. The four Banana leaf size codex combine to make a banana plant.
The Dresden Codex is a Mayan book, the oldest surviving from the Americas, dating to the 13th or 14th century. The codex was rediscovered in the city of Dresden, Germany, hence the book’s present name.
(Left) The vision serpent. The hallucinatory visions central to Maya ritual were symbolized by a rearing snake. Most vision serpents have smooth bodies, some show areas of flayed skin and in some cases feathered bodies. Serpent heads have long sometimes bulbous snouts, and most are bearded.
(Right) “Metamorphosing into an Owl”, paint, spell, marker and scratches on clay, 5 x 3 inches, 2020. When death comes for me, I will rely on him the most to warn me so I am ready for my journey.
“The Aztecs and Maya, along with other natives of Mesoamerica, considered the owl a symbol of death and destruction. In fact, the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, was often depicted with owls. There is an old saying in Mexico that is still in use: Cuando el tecolote canta, el indio muere (“When the owl cries/sings, the Indian dies”). The Popol Vuh, a Mayan religious text, describes owls as messengers of Xibalba (the Mayan “Place of Fright”).” (wikipedia).
Hernando de Soto (c. 1500 – May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was involved in expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula, and played an important role in Pizarro’s conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru, but is best known for leading the first Spanish and European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States (through Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and most likely Arkansas). He is the first European documented as having crossed the Mississippi River. They used to cut the hands and feet of the Natives just to test the sharpness of their swords and for laughter.
WATER LORD RITUAL (VIDEO)
WATER LORD RITUAL, 2019, video, 1:03 sec, music by Incantations Maruch Mendez.
This ritual was originally performed on October 17th, 2018 at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York with waves between the 1-3 foot range on a semi-cloudy day. It started with a painting I did of a poem I wrote called “Water Lord” using Mayan logograms complemented with a set of syllabic glyphs. The process began with a meditation session to reveal a vision for this poem then I made an embroidered painting which then guided me to do this ghostly performance. The performance is to honor and display the respect I have for the water as if it were an entity or a god on its own. I celebrate its wetness, its fluidity, its availability to take on any share and since we all 75% water, I want to show its direct connection to our biology and to the dream world.