Women and bees. (In memory of African people)

(The Surreal Headdresses)

woman with beehive on her head
mixed media on canvas

The new moon was about to arrive and I had to start a new project for the series “The Surreal Headdresses”. I already had in mind what I wanted to do but coincidence or not, after a few days, I read the news that talks about the return of the blue bees, or the carpenter bees, so they are called in America, and although I did not even know of their existence, in my I designed the bees to be there because I would put the hive in the head of the woman. That day was precisely May 20th, World Bee Day, and then I understand that I am in time with nature, that I have received another message and that I am in perfect harmony! How beautiful my project was in balance with the cosmos!

Unfortunately something terrible and unacceptable has happened. The episode of George Floyd, killed by those policemen in an absurd and cowardly way. My harmony and balance have been disturbed and turned upside down as if the hive had been thrown to the ground without reason by someone who enjoyed doing it. I was unable to watch TV and yet it is not the first time that such a thing has happened.

I looked at my canvas, I thought not to put the hive anymore or that it would be appropriate to modify it. My painting had nothing to do with that episode but I felt that something had to be changed, I didn’t know well but in the end I decided to leave it as per the initial project.

So like a dull scream, a silent cry, it was as if my painting was turning to violence out of racism but that no one hears it; violence also against women whom no one punishes; the extinction of bees that no one is responsible for but still, to a moral disorder, to the chaos of justice, to the lack of peace and cosmic conscience, to the lack of respect for ethnic groups, for the African Continent where it all began! A face that does not speak but tries to look ahead in this society that lacks culture and abounds with amoral, superficial and consumerist instructions and appearances without any type of content.

Seen and considered that we are globalized (to be honest for many years, if I think about the discovery of America and trade, even earlier in the east, China as the richest country, where the rice and spices that were used to abound were abundant preserve food) because then we do not globalize cultures, religions, customs. We want to globalize only for economic purposes and, after all, nobody cares.

Fortunately, the African slaves who went to Brazil inserted their culture, their cuisine and their religion, which has always been accepted and many are proud to have African blood, to have black skin. The true Brazilian would be the Indian, all the others are mixed but still, despite its five hundred twenty-two years of different ethnicities among Portuguese, African, Dutch, German, Japanese, Italian, etc., racism and discrimination still go on today streets day and night, victimizing women, children and men, blacks / blacks / pretos / mulatos are part of the poorest population.

The blue bees are like people of African origin, if they really disappeared from the Earth as well as the common bees are disappearing, we will remain not only without honey and without food, without coffee, without a lot of herbs and fruit plants that are part of an extremely important ecosystem for everyone, but we will also remain without the history of the oldest people in the world, the cradle of civilization that cannot be interrupted. This also applies to the Indians of Brazil who are currently dying from the epidemic. What about Africa? We know very little. It is not so important …

I just want to know what clicks into a person’s head to hate a black-skinned human being so much, what kind of process and how it develops in the human mind to make him hate the other for his physical appearance and never for the his soul and his heart. Ah, yes, how stupid I am! Of course, such a hideous being cannot understand what the soul is, let alone feelings …

The Mother Goddess in each one of us

(The Surreal Headdresses)

mixed media on canvas 70×70

When I started this painting I didn’t know what I was going towards. It was still a time when I often got sick and tried every type of drug without ever being able to feel good. One day I read about a Chilean plant and started treating myself with that. In the meantime I went back to the woods, I collected, together with my daughter, leaves and flowers still completely unknown to me, and so we started our herbarium or catalog. In my notebook I write from the origins of each plant up to its use in Chinese medicine, while my daughter makes them dry and then writes the common name so as to return to the woods and recognize the plants.

In the following days I felt in complete harmony with life and nature. I was much more sure of myself, I had confidence in what I was doing and the hesitations were completely gone.

  Those walks had a regenerating effect and days later I dreamed of two words: Healing and Healthy. I must specify my English is not bad but not perfect either. I knew more or less the meaning of these words but then trying to “fix” them, healing is for healing and healthy is for health. By now it was decided and I could no longer hesitate, the way was right, my treatments were working, I had to continue until my intuition would have told me: “okay for now, now you can stop”.

At that moment I was in a state of bliss but I still had to get rid of my “time wasters” or as I also called them, “the outburst that will make me sick”, yes because the excuse that the cigarette calmed me was nonsense nonsense, every Once I was maddened for some reason, I went outside and lit a cigarette. However, I was very aware that while I was aspirating I was projecting into the cigarette itself so what I was doing to my body was a double evil. I inhaled anger and not calm.
In addition to that, I had already changed some foods by replacing them with products from my area. Finally, I went back to yoga. Obviously if you don’t like yoga you can always do any other activity, judo for example is fantastic and gives us security.

Slowly (and it took me though) I acquired the behavior and the practice. The respectful attitude towards nature and above all towards myself. This transformation came about through walks in the woods and my desire to heal because I couldn’t take it anymore. In the meantime, my canvas did not end, I was ill, the painting never finished.

I once planted a sunflower seed in a small pot. I was still in Brazil. My mother said to me: “well … I don’t know if it will grow in this jar”. I knew nothing about plants, I was young, I was twenty-two years old and I said to my mother: “you will see that it is born, and when the flower opens, something will happen”. Well, the seed has sprouted, grown and grown tall. On the day the flower opened, something happened, not beautiful but it happened … a person dear to me died, a person I loved very much and who taught me many things, he was like a teacher, in addition to being in the real life.
This, despite the bad event, serves to make us understand that nature is speaking to us! Obviously I have never planted a sunflower again in my life but the truth is that you have to listen to it without doubting. If you doubt her, you doubt yourself.

The wisdom of Mother Earth is before our eyes and our disposition. When women made use of plants or herbs for healing, they were killed with the witch protocol and men stole every discovery, recipes, uses and all scriptures that women had made. By taking possession of this information, they have become the holders of that power that today are the great companies that make use of it, logically transformed and monopolized. Why should I buy an aloe vera based product for example, if I can find the plant and use it? Of course it takes knowledge and we must recover it!

This blessing makes me feel one with nature, with the earth, with the rain. I lost the fear of meeting animals in the woods and consequently also my daughter who cried desperately as soon as she saw a skinny and hungry spider in the floor of the house. Now he takes tadpoles with his tiny fingers, runs after the lizards and no longer screams for spiders. I managed to finish the canvas and learned to listen to the messages that nature wants to pass on to me.

Frida and the faculty of the chameleon

(The Surreal Headdresses)

For the collection of surreal headdresses I put a chameleon on Frida’s head because she had the same faculty as this animal. That is, just as he changes color based on temperature, in front of a threat or to communicate, Frida did it in the same way. Through the colors he communicated his feelings, his pains, his tragedies. I don’t know how many people they would be able to endure so much, between operations, busts, medicines and months in bed without ever giving up. So Frida told us everything with her colors as only a chameleon can do it.

 Born of a Mexican mother and a Hungarian father who loves literature, music and later a painter and photographer. We know that she was a nice, intelligent, active and very, but very religious woman, almost fanatically. Frida was born with spina bifida and as if it were not enough, at 6 she fell ill with polio deforming her foot and right leg. At school her classmates called her “pata de palo” or “wooden leg”, so she wore long Mexican skirts.

Frida was studying to become a doctor, at some point in her life, at the age of 25, she suffered a traffic accident while traveling on a bus, suffering from a fractured pelvis with perforation, which forced her to rest on the bed for a long time. Wear the torso for 9 months and plaster on the right foot. The actual diagnosis comes out after 1 year: fracture of the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae, three fractures of the pelvis, eleven fractures in the right foot, dislocation of the left elbow, deep wound in the abdomen, produced by an iron bar entered from the right hip and exit from sex, tearing the left lip. Acute peritonitis. He undergoes 32 surgeries.

Time spent in bed stimulates her to read about communism often and to paint. Until then, Frida had never thought of becoming an artist. The first thing he paints is his foot that he can glimpse under the sheets. To encourage her, her parents give her a four-poster bed with a mirror on the ceiling so that she can see herself to paint herself.

After a year and a few months, with her great courage and strong character, Frida who had changed her real name Frieda (which means peace) to Frida to contest Nazi politics, returns to walk despite the severe pain, bringing with her the scars.

A year later he joins a group of artists and intellectuals. Frida’s painting has its special, unique and profound language. The theme of the self-portrait is often recurring because of health, Frida paints the pain, paints herself because she spent a lot of time in solitude, but then paints the pre-Columbian, Mexican culture, popular faith, Christian saints, flora and fauna with often present monkeys and parrots. Through the group of students, Frida meets young people linked to Cuban communism by Julio Antonio Mella, exiled to Mexico, lover of Tina Modotti, photographer. Although Frida already knew Diego Rivera, it was Tina who had them found a second time. We all know of Frida’s relationship and marriage with Diego, the large man who often called him “elephant”, had already been married twice and despite knowing of his infidelity, he married him with a difference of almost 20 years. Diego was already known in the artistic world, Frida becomes an activist of the communist movement, then they move to America for Diego’s work. Frida becomes pregnant 3 times and 3 times she is forced to have an abortion due to the insufficiency of her body. So they decide to return to live in Mexico and separate. They live in different houses but connected by a bridge, so that each one can have his own artistic space. (Just as Marina Abramovic says: never fall in love with an artist if you are an artist “).

In 1939 they divorced. The reason? He cheats on her with his sister, but Frida was a strong woman who never gave up and wrongly repaid with the same coin or worse. Do you remember Tina? The photographer? Here, Frida has had many stories with both men and women, among them, Tina was one but also famous people such as Andrè Breton and the revolutionary Lev Trotsky.

In the 1940s Frida is famous and her works are in demand in almost all of Mexico’s collective exhibitions. In 1950 he underwent other operations and because of the pain he can no longer paint without chasing drugs. If once his paintings were painted well, not with lightness but with patience, now the brush strokes are softer and more imprecise. At her first exhibition in 1953, Frida participates lying down. It was Diego who brought his four-poster bed to the exhibition where Frida participates drinking and singing with the general public.

In August of the same year, the doctors decided to amputate her right leg to the knee. Frida died in 1954 in her Casa Azul in Coyoacàn, from pneumonia. Frida and Diego’s house has remained as such and today is its museum where thousands of people visit every year. It is a beautiful, colorful house, with a garden that still blooms with cactuses, its canopy bed, Diego’s study with his sculptures, Frida’s work tools such as brushes and colors, as well as his easel. A large, colorful and lively house just like her. Odara.

Bird in the head

(The Surreal Headdresses)

A little bird on the head. Life, death, rebirth. Motherhood, abortion, the end of one cycle, the beginning of another through life, eternity. The woman’s body and body is earth that bears fruit to feed people. It fertilizes the seed, nourishes it and makes it grow through its body, gives it life and then gives it back to the earth and if this was not ready to be born, nature itself, the earth or the body like mud will take care of saving the woman and to take the little creature back with it again. There is no need to fear since she is wise and knows that this is the right thing to do.  The dead bird on the head represents intuitive wisdom that saves from the pain of loss and the non-acceptance of the event. The woman is earth and therefore it frightens, makes you tremble, frightens, is unpredictable like an earthquake, depending on its intensity it can cause damage, injuries and deaths, for this reason it is called mad by men, for its strength and capacity for its intensity female. It is the power of nature that governs life, death and rebirth, it is she who gave you life and must be respected.

In the event that it was not the woman’s own nature that provided the interruption of life in the womb, she and only she will be able to decide what to do with her body and the creature she carries within her. No other person intervenes in his decision, neither a religion, nor a table of men without a womb and without a vagina to decide for him! Not even politics made up of men “without uteri” is able to choose, indeed, they must give safe means and guaranteed support to women in order to decide exactly what is best for them, no one else. Odara.

my sweet little bird in a poppy field

Chicken hearts collection

(The Surreal Headdresses)

For a woman to stop collecting chicken hearts, that is, stories with a sad end or stories of total failure, she must know herself. That one part of itself is like the zebra and the other is a real cheetah. Vicki Noble said in his book “The Awakening of the Goddess” that a man capable of recognizing his wild part in women can be considered a lucky man. We are often told that we are strange, crazy, discontented and restless. Well yes, we are like this because we are cyclical. I bet Eve was and that Adam complained constantly! But in order for a man to find his wild woman (his way of saying since nobody belongs to anyone) there is a need to be recognized and therefore it is necessary first of all to get to know each other. Women try in many ways to make themselves understood, to communicate what they feel and what they want with its nuances and mood swings. The woman is cyclical, this cannot be changed. Often it happens to enter into a relationship where everything that was lost is lost, the woman loses her identity and gets molded. I was shocked while reading Women Running with Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola, a book considered the bible of women, while reading the story of Blue Beard. At that moment my thoughts changed, I understood the mechanism and I know I can no longer go back. It was an evolutionary step in my life. The half zebra-half cheetah creature is my creation to represent the two sides of the woman: being prey and being a hunter. The right balance of these two totem animals for me made me stop collecting chicken hearts, stories with egocentric, narcissistic, mean and male chauvinistic people. I believe that every woman needs a single heart, a big heart like that of an ox. Odara.

mixed media on canvas 50×70