Sunday, July 27, 2014

diego rivera's judas figures

Here's me and a Judas head in Mexico City. Where else would that blue wall be but at Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul?

Judas figures belong to an old Catholic custom of making papier-mâché figures, representing Satan and Judas, which are burned, exploded, or flogged on the Saturday before Easter. 

I'm thinking of them now because I was leafing through an old notebook and came across the drawings I did in Diego Rivera's studio. I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the building, though no one stopped me from sketching--which, admittedly, is not one of my fortes. Still, you get the sense. 

The bodies were about 10'/3m high, made of papier-mâché, adorned with buttons, bones, horns, stones and teeth, brightly painted and propped before a window of many panes. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo collected them. I suppose it was a way of never being alone in a room if you don't mind the company of demons. 
I sketched this fellow too. I liked his metal-hoop ribs. I couldn't tell if his limbs were made of bone or wood. I didn't forget his eyes and nose. He didn't have any. Or maybe it was a she. 

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