Material : Acrylic paint on wall
Dates : November - December 2014
Most of the images, used for this mural where taken from Jorge Encino's "Design motifs of ancient Mexico"; the book is a display of native decorative ingenuity. They are images taken from small baked clay stamps. In ancient Mexico, the oldest clay stamps were hand modeled. It must be mentioned that stamps were articles of trade; thus the places where they are found today are not necessarily their places of origin.
The composition and the decisions to include all the different images where mutually agreed upon, with the exception of the color palette, the images of the corn, and the fish, and the flat stamp with human figure from Tlatilco, these were solely chosen by the owners of the venue. These suggestions were quite significant for the final piece, since corn is one of the basic food staples in Latin American cuisine and fish has a powerful and energetic life force, demonstrated by its ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream. Some of the characteristics associated with the fish include: good fortune, success, prosperity, longevity, courage, ambition, and perseverance. All characteristics required to undertake any new venture in life, such as this one.
I was pleasantly surprised that after seeing the finished mural, a good friend noted that, for her, the final piece appeared to be the schematization of the Mayan Temple of the Foliated Cross in Palenque, with a mixture of the Christian cross and the cosmic tree, or tree of life, intertwined. The Mayas, as so many other ancestral cultures, had a tree of life. They called it the "Great Mother Ceiba" and it represented their axis mundi, it was the center for the four cardinal points, as well as the union of the three worlds: the sky, the earth and the underworld.
Food brings people together and it nurtures a very primal need we all have and I believe that Taqueria Maya will be a wonderful addition to the diverse culinary offerings in the city of Athens. The mural was commissioned by the owners of the restaurant and I thank them dearly for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful project. The mural was commenced on November 22nd and it was completed on December 9th, 2014.