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Angel Guardián

2004
Mixed Media on Canvas
36" x 18"
Private Collection of Ivan Gartner

The painting "Mamita" was a work in progress. In the fall of 2004, I decided to rework the image as a tribute to my mother-in-law who had passed from cancer in the summer of 2001. Working with the same concept from Santa Madre, I decided to create the image of a sacred woman, as an angel, but with everyday clothing. This is to encourage that we acknowledge the sacred within ourselves. In this case, Tina (short for Cristina), my mother-in-law is painted as she appeared in a photo from the 1970s. The background features a collage of family photos and her image bears a halo in each. As I painted the halos on each image, I found myself having to include them on the images of other family members that have passed over the years, including her first born son. An image of him with his mom appears on her chest, reminiscent of the sacred heart image, since the loss of a child results in the most profound heartbreak. These photos are all glazed under the colors of the flag of Colombia, her birthplace. The photos capture the happiest moments of family memories and the important role these snapshots play in immortalizing those moments.