- Gallery Text
Rooted in the Mexican print tradition, Alvarez’s work invites us into the imaginary of the ever-moving space of the “borderlands.” Informed by his lived experiences as an artist from El Paso, Alvarez uses the Mexican flag’s colors as background for a story in which multiple times and spaces merge. Pre-Hispanic and popular cultural images mix with Mexico’s colonial and Catholic history. The central figure is a naked woman, the Aztec goddess Tonantzin. The Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, flanks the print, while an Aztec jade mask observes the entire composition. We see a tiny ladder, a moon, sun rays, and a pierced heart from the board game Lotería. The woman steps onto a giant chair, for Alvarez a symbol of transformative power. She leaves behind (or has been stripped of?) her ancient identity and, perhaps endowed with new sacred powers, embraces her new self, signaled by Catholic attire (a mantle with golden rays and roses). Is she becoming the borderland goddess, la Virgen de Guadalupe?
- Identification and Creation
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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- Physical Descriptions
- Woodcut and offset lithograph on white wove paper
- 129.1 × 95.3 cm (50 13/16 × 37 1/2 in.)
- Danny Alvarez, created 2006; [Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, PA], sold; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2018.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund
- © Danny Alvarez
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Modern and Contemporary Art
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- Exhibition History
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