Thursday, August 19, 2010

La Loteria: Hand, World and Heart (and the Devil)

I received this card on the mail the other day. The Devil! No, it was not some weird form of hate mail asking me to repent and mend the error of my ways. I was an invitation to participate in the Center for Book and Paper Arts' exhibit -Mano/Mundo/Corazon: Artists Interpret La Loteria

La Loteria is a game similar to Bingo. The most popular version of this game was probably drawn in the 1920's, but the game has been around since the 1800's. Each card features iconic and archetypal images. Some of the cards have symbolic meaning dating back to Pre-Hispanic times, while other cards could also correspond to the Tarot's major arcana:

El Sol /The Sun/Tonathiu.

La Luna/The Moon/Coyolxahuqui.

La Estrella/The Star/Citlali.

La Muerte/Death/Miclantecuthli,

I was actually thrilled to have received El Diablito. The image was up my alley - devils seem to make their way into my art often. The obvious symbolic meanings for the devil are evil, fear and basically everything that is bad. But my personal mythology interprets Diablitos (little Devils) as naughty, playful, mischievous characters related to the basic element of fire. They represent passion, a spark of creativity and our desire to "let loose", to do things often frown upon. If we are extremely fearful, overly prudish, judgemental, and repress our genuine feelings unfairly, something minor could come back in more sinister ways. This is my version of the card:

Mano/Mundo/Corazon: Artist Interpret La Loteria opens on September 9, and it runs to December 10 in Chicago's Center for Book and Paper Arts The opening reception is on September 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. To learn more about the Center for Books and Paper Arts visit Columbia College in Chicago


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  2. Thank you so much for our comment Marco!