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Ricardo Santos Hernández

 The work that I have included for this exhibition narrates three themes. One of those themes is Sea Ania (Flower World), the World Underneath the World. Sea Ania, in Yaqui belief, describes a place underneath the ground that our ancestors inhabit. It is believed that many of our ancestors, the Surem, returned to Sea Ania before the arrival of the
Spaniards to the desert area of southern Sonora for they knew that many changes and hardship would take place and that life would not be the same once these visitors came.

This world is described as a place of enchantment and magic. It is believed that most of the desert animals that inhabit the desert are our ancestors. They are considered medicine people of power. The magical creatures that you see in the painting The Macho Man Arrived, makes references to this place of enchantment.

The second theme that I have explored since my arrival to Chicago is the environmental chaos and industrialism that surrounds this city of a few million people. The painting Consumer Man makes a commentary of the contaminated landscape and forest of smokestack erections that dominate the urban skyline and neighborhoods.

Catholic icons like the Virgin of Guadalupe are a recent exploration in my work that alludes to the evangelization of the desert people 400 years ago who lived in the areas known today as Sonora and southern Arizona.

I have explored these themes extensively since I came to the windy city to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for graduate school. To be away from the beauty and stillness of southern Arizona and the desert landscape makes me think deeply about the environment in
which I presently live. In the painting Consumer Man I became one more contributor to the environmental chaos that is wasting us.

The King and His Spirit

Macho Man Arrived

Consumer Man