Our Lady Of Regla

Oil on Wood Panel with 24k Gold, 40" x 40"

Our Lady of Regla is at the same time Yemayá, the mother to all. She holds the first woman Eve in her arms, her solemn expression indicating her knowledge of future suffering Eve and her descendants will undergo. A close study of Yemayá’s face reveals scars on her cheeks. This scarification represents powerful tribal markings of identification and beautification in Yoruba culture. Its presence works to reclaim different ideals of beauty. With elongated limbs cradling the baby Eve, the painting also speaks to motherhood.

Symbolism is found throughout the work, as blue signifies both Yemayá and Lady of Regla while red is associated with Eve. The white pom flower represents an altar offering to the orisha, and the red flowers signify pure love. Yemayá wears a gold crown dotted with lustrous freshwater pearls, but the more important crown is the metaphorical one of her Orí, represented here in gold and metal oxides. Using the Renaissance technique known as sgraffito, in which the top layer of paint is scratched to reveal an underlayer of gold, the artist created the luxurious blue robe with intricate patterns, carefully carving each stylized leaf.


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