Copyright 2016. MARIA MIJARES. All Rights Reserved.
Once that the human figure had made return debut into my work, what next? I blindly sought situations: waiters, journalists, a transvestite show. I was lost all over the place! I would look for the philosophers of our day—for men of substance.
BY THE MYSTERY OF FAITH
The themes of my paintings often require an elaborate protocol to earn access to the subject. No bowl-o-cherries, in the case of the Catholic priesthood.
Decades ago I started upon a sort of pilgrimage to explore the parallel of the mystic art-life to the priesthood and the relationship of artist to subject, and subject to audience. I had no previous prejudice.
I thought I was following the thread in my content to research the culture of my heritage when tipped off about a priest from Spain at a local church. I approached the priest with my sudden strong desire to paint about him. He didn't like the idea. For the first six months I was interrogated by his superior, persecuted, and asked to abort the first (innocent) unseen painting. Persevering I prevailed to be embraced by Bishops, presented to Cardinals, able to see the Pope in Spain, and fraternally welcomed in many an unlikely scene. I had to cultivate the privileged peephole. A long way from Backstage-Bob Dylan-Days, but not so very different.
It was absolutely “A Man’s World” yet I survived the gauntlets—including blows at the hands of non-clerical women. Steadfast, I eventually ’got in’ earning respect from the top down. From that world I bring about forty paintings filling my studio at varying degrees of completion. The paintings represent a visual outline for an unfolding narrative shaped and played out “By the Mystery of Faith.”
I was drawn in by my perception of integrity. One finds what one looks for. My inclinations are quixotic—whether looking at a decaying building or elegant treasure. Finding beauty in every subject from the commonplace to blight, visual context is philosophy, then theory gives way to faith.
Going ‘Behind the Seens’ to a reality stretched to the edge— just short of falling off, I stoke the source for deeper mysteries from the fire within. In the caves of my ancestral Altamira, the artist was the priest.
Art is, and has always been, a sacred endeavor.