I was brainstorming images for a woodcut to use for the upcoming USA/Latin American cultural exchange, Cornbread and Tortillas festival, and a friend suggested a parody of the iconic “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood. I wanted to replace the farmer and his daughter with famous Mexicans. I chose Frida Kahlo for the daughter, because she is one of the most popular Mexican artists of all time. Despite having a handicap, she was an independent, strong woman, in a time that was not the norm. I chose to use Emiliano Zapata to represent the farmer, because he is one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. He fought to put an end to the exploitation of the poor, working, rural class (peasants).
I thought the blending of these three icons say a lot about my ideas about contemporary culture and cultural exchange. I was raised in the United States as an ‘army brat’, my idea of culture is that it is a living, evolving thing. Our country is made up of lots of different people and cultures that are constantly moving around and influencing each other. United States Culture is a blending of cultures – so is Mexico’s.
Here’s a short video of the printing of the woodcut:
For the first 6 weeks of 2019, I am planning a trip (cultural exchange) to Oaxaca, Mexico. Sales of this print will help with my expenses for the trip. Thank you/muchas gracias to everyone for supporting my work.