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.
DRESDEN CODEX LEAF (1 – 4), 2020, paint, ink 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.
Snake boy with Dog, 2021, Chaulk, paint and oil stick and oil pastel on canvas, 24 x 24
(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).
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”.
The two artworks are original spells I cast upon Hernando de Soto. He was a brutal Hispanic conquistador that mostly tormented Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula. These spells are first written in English then translated using Mayan Glyphs. They will lead me to him once I enter the underworld, and I will challenge him there.
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.