This first piece, submitted by Judithe Hernandez, concerns Michael Sedano's post this week of Review: Tunaluna. On-line Floricanto Decision Day in which Sedano reviews alurista's latest book. Judithe is the cover artist. We do this to provide her a forum to share her thoughts and give La Bloga readers insight into an artist's thinking:
I almost never interpret my own work, but you “started this, Michael. (LOL!) So, I will give the readers of the La Bloga a rare insight into my thinking. Although the cover for TunaLuna is a detail of a larger work created in 2009 (before I knew about its publication), Juan Tejeda, publisher of Aztlan Libre Press, saw it on my website and was struck by how right it was for the cover of Alurista’s newest volume of poetry.
This wonderful convergence seems to characterize the complementary nature of my work to Alurista’s over the years. In recent conversations, we have marveled at the way we both seem to work toward to a similar aesthetic objective: he in a very non-linear, non-narrative fashion, and I in a very linear, narrative way. Go figure!
The “luna” in his poetry and in my image is loaded with meaning ancient and modern, sensual and mysterious, emotional and intellectual. The viewer/reader will decide how well be have conveyed these things. For me, as a part of my work for many years, the “ribbon” has been a “literary device” intended to connect the visual elements of a work to tell a story. In this case, the ribbon weaves its way through the nopalera, very much the same way man makes his way through his earthly life to his next transition. The human hand suggests the presence of man/woman as simply another element in the universe that lives and dies, and creates unseen memories on its journey through life’s thorns and flowers.
Ultimately, I see the poetry in TunaLuna as snapshots of life; words capturing the fleeting nature of man’s existence and his earthly experience. Actually, another beautiful poem comes to mind; a work by an anonymous Nahuatl poet:
We come but to sleep, we come but to dream,
It is not true that we come to live upon the earth,
Like the grass each spring we are transformed,
Our hearts grow green, put forth their shoots
Our body is a flower,
Its blossoms, and then it withers.
I thought your review of Alurista’s newest volume of poetry was thoughtful, supportive, and fair. His poetry is certainly not linear and it is not intended to be. He and I have had long conversations about how this choice may inhibit some readers from an immediate understanding (and therefore enjoyment) of the work. However, I think that is exactly the purpose. If the reader has been sufficiently intrigued by the first pass, hopefully he will return for several more readings.
Those who do will be rewarded. Alurista’s work attempts to engage the reader on many levels, even inviting them to read works from bottom-to-top; amazingly the poems work beautifully either way!
Having been a fan for decades, I am thrilled that he seems to be creatively re-energized and is planning more work again. By the way, thanks for mentioning my cover, although “interesting” is not exactly the review for which I would have hoped. LOL!
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Artist's new Flash website
Robert Maestas grew up in North Central New Mexico but now resides in Lakewood, CO, a Denver suburb of Denver. Maestas is a self-taught digital artist and has been creating art for over fourteen years. He is a member of the the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council (CHAC) Gallery, Denver.
Click here to explore Maestas' creative pieces, many of which adorn SW homes and businesses, including custom-tile pieces made for my own home. There's a lot of imaginative works, Mexican/Chicano themes, fantasy, the surrealistic and much more. Support the arts today, you'll find it worth your time.
Es todo, hoy