" Noches Sabor Mango "
acrylic & oil on canvas
43 x 28 in © 2000 Gabriel Navar
The flavor and color of mangoes initially inspired this painting. The thought of their delicious juices and textures made me feel a sense of love and nostalgia. So I put together some pieces of wood (2" x 4"s) and canvas that had been used before a couple of times as banners to announce past art exhibitions of mine. I designed the shape of the painting as an upside-down "t" because I felt that I knew that I wanted the image on the top part of the painting to fade into the sky. The shape then is to me like a sort of tree where the roots are wide and the trunk is leading up to the heavens. Since I was thinking of trees because of their connection to ground and sky, I felt like putting them in the painting and I wanted to connect them to other images I've been thinking, painting, writing and dreaming about.
The little angel (here, I decided to paint him in such a way that he's cut off by the bottom edge of the painting so as to sort of abstract him a bit) is the angel that has appeared in other paintings of mine. It is the angel that is depicted as holding the Virgen de Guadalupe, Mother of Christ, which appeared to a Mexican Indian, Juan Diego, in 1531. The angel, as my cousin Guillermo Vásquez explained to me, was painted onto the cloth below the Virgin, by Spaniards. The Virgin celestially "appeared" on the cloth that Juan Diego wore after he had collected roses for Her which he brought back to the church officials. Seeing the Virgin image, the officials and Juan Diego were amazed and convinced about her true apparition as the Mother of God .
The wings of the angel have the three colors of the Mexican flag: red, white and green. I have him holding the trees with branches that become hands holding each other. The act of holding for me symbolizes faith and love. The hands were painted that way because I often "see" human-like forms in tree forms. By merging human forms with tree forms as well as with sky, I am suggesting the interconnectedness of beings, entities and energies in our planet. The legs standing on the branches were inspired by my father's. I went to visit him one day and asked him to hold still for a photograph... I love the color of his guaraches (sandals).
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Visit my Current Featured Painting "app 4 disgruntled days". It was currently added to my site on April 2013. Also, visit my Archived Featured Paintings, I have about 20 Previous Featured Paintings. Each one of them has a story, a description about their creation as well as some background about their form, content and symbolism. Looking at the Previous Featured Paintings page I realize that I have had a wide range of interests over time in the figurative, narrative work that I have created over the years. I hope you can appreciate that an element that ties my work together is my desire to create thought provoking compositions that involve the figure, rich colors, and, often, the human theater.
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