I welded yesterday! I used a MIG and didn't blow up the building. I also have a new idea in the works. Something I've been dyyyyyiiiing to do is use a bata for a dipped plaster project. Clarity: A bata is basically a miu-miu. ALL of my older aunts and cousins wear them and it's kind of a running joke in Latinx culture that wearing a bata is a sign that you're of a certain age. It's an inevitability. Here is the bata all plastered up and ready to get an armature. I should have taken a before shot. It was a purple little number with flowers on the neck.
I also made a trial run of a vejigante mask. Vejigante masks are used during carnival season in Puerto Rico. The term comes from the words Vejiga and Jigante. The masked creatures are meant to be playful devils. They're mischievous but also comedic and usually carry cow bladders that have been inflated, dried and then painted. The main festival in which the vejigantes appear is the Festival of St. James. They're meant to scare people into going back to church. The symbolism has changed over time and has become more about Puerto Rico's Taino and African roots than anything else. Below is the beginnings of my mask. I'll be teaching a mask making class for Hispanic Heritage Month (fingers-crossed it gets funded) soon so this is a good refresher. I've made them before in grade-school. Usually out of papier mache.
So my goal is to combine my plaster dipped bata with the vejigante mask (perhaps cut off just at my nose) into a self portrait of sorts. It will probably look something like this:
It's a "VIEJA-gante" if you will. Vieja translates to old-woman so I'm taking some liberties (and being HILARIOUS) by combining Vieja and Vejigante. I consider this my ultimate achievement thus far. I want to make use my face in this piece. so the mask will come down to about my nose. I'll probably use a plaster bust for my face and shoulders and plaster casts of my arms and legs. I really want to reference a Virgin Mary type statue. I grew up seeing these plaster Mary statues in my grandmothers house. Before I knew what the significance was I used to play with her like a doll. She was the coolest giant barbie ever...until I was yelled at for playing with a saint. I'm not sure what all the materials will be yet. I know I need a veil and chancletas. I might consider stitching in some areas and incorporating some of those patterns I've been using in my 2D pieces.
Well that's all for now!
This blog functions as a space for me to articulate what goes into making my artwork. As it goes, artists are supposedly notorious for being verbose and confusing writers that often come off as pretentious, pompous asses. That hopefully won't happen here. I intend to be as informal as possible. If you've made it this far I probably don't have to warn you that some of this might be NSFW because nudity is known to literally, and irreversibly, burn corneas.*