La Bestia: Sweet Mother Art Show

January 6, 2014 - February 10, 2014
344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
New York, NY 10003,
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La Bestia: Sweet Mother series of paintings will be on view at the 14th Street Y's LABA Gallery in New York's East Village, part of the multi-media project I have created as a LABA Fellow this year.

La Bestia: Sweet Mother is a multi-media exploration of the “mother” as both creator and destroyer.  Utilizing these narrative paintings, a theater piece, dance, music and singing, I explore the place of beginning, where creation destroyed eternity and replaced it with the bounded universe.

These paintings represent characters from the narrative theater piece by the same name.  La Bestia: Sweet Mother will be premiered at the LABA Theater in January 25th, 2014, as part of the LABAlive series of productions. 

The story involves three women, all mothers – Valencia, Huma and Suzette – who have each created and, due to circumstances beyond their control, destroyed life.  As their particular stories weave together throughout the production, a cellist, dancer and individual singer echo the mythical themes that inspired this work.

The paintings explore the narrative of the story, as well as expand it into the play’s future.  The mixed media, the broken collage pieces, the dripping ink, the crumpled faces and hints of other personages aggrieving these women and men (represented by fingers emerging from the edge of the canvas) underscore that unseen forces control these figures’ fate. 

The motivation for this project emerges from the study sessions of the LABA Fellowship, exploring the earliest tales of Genesis, and the original mother (Eve).  For my piece, I also looked at earlier creation myths which might have influenced the Jewish compilers of the Torah – Sumerian, Babylonian, Greek, Hindu and Egyptian.  Echoes of themes from the original mothers in all of these tales can be seen in the story of La Bestia: Sweet Mother.

The title comes from the freight train that, today, brings illegal immigrants out of Central America and toward their dream in the United States.  Riding on top of it illegally, hundreds of immigrants fall prey everyday to the gangs that line the train line, to the elements, to violent men atop the cars and illness.  This train holds the potential to give new life, as well as destroy the old.