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|Mejico se pinta solo [Mexico paints itself or Mexico needs no introduction]
During the 1980’s I decided to do a series of small “flag” paintings of Latin American countries. Mexico and Cuba is as far as I got; I already had Puerto Rico the main inspiration for the series.
The purpose of the series was to print limited edition prints for the U.S. market. I picked these three subjects because Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba were the three largest “Hispanic” communities in the United States.
An oil version of each was painted on smooth masonite panels and photographer George Shuba shot them for printing. It takes an experienced and skilful photographer to light and photograph paintings well. I want to point out that the resulting prints are of far better quality and clarity than the low resolution image shown above (just trying to make it difficult for copycats).
The concept for the paintings was already established with the Puerto Rico design: a flag of the country, native musical instruments, and a plain background. The compositions were designed to appeal to the cultural and nostalgic sentiment Hispanics have for their countries of origin. Not only was the artwork instantly recognizable, but it also inspired a feeling of identity and cultural pride.
Artistically, the Mexico print is the latest and best of the series; the composition is more complex and the colouring is beatifically balanced. The Cuban print followed the same pattern as the Puerto Rico design since they are so culturally close and the flags are identical -except for the inversion of the red and blue colours. For these I used colours as vibrant as the Caribbean.
A Mexico print is available at the Store page.