Queen of the Sun and Moon

In Memory of Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz

(1651 -1695)

    I first became familiar with the image of this Queen at an early age through the scents, the colors and the fresh flowers that surrounded her small altar that stood in the local market of my native Mexico. These small altars often appear in many other markets throughout Mexico. It is through this visual discourse that the concrete blends with the spiritual and the mystical.

    The rites that surround the Virgin of Guadalupe are an integral part of an appear now in many aspects of Mexican daily living. The rites include: Blessing oneself at a given moment, daily prayer, requesting special intentions, lighting candles and preparing small altars at home as acts of veneration and devotion.

    The Sun and Moon are symbols that appear in indigenous myths, pre-Columbian art as well as modern art. These symbols, so important to Maxican art, also appear in the image of the Virgin of  Guadalupe. It is for this reason the title of this work is so named and dedicated to her.

This ofrenda, which I dedicate to her, is a tribute in which I crown her, in recognition of her works and life, all of which made an important contribution in Mexico’s history. I have used tones of red, a color commonly used in her time, to paint her on bark paper. Xochitl, the Mesoamerican symbol of flowers, are depicted among the flowers that crown her. Every element of this ofrenda has been used to create the ambiance of her crowning and the celebration of her life, centuries later.