The Virgin

Oil on Belgian Linen with 24k Gold, 24" x 24"

The ebony figures of the Virgin and the child Eve speak to the origins of the Lucumí religion. Imbued with the ability to create life, women in Yorubaland were protected and empowered, hence the female orishas Yemayá commanding the oceans, and Oya controlling the winds. The painting reclaims this power.

In her first time presenting the Virgin and Eve as the same individual, the artist bathes the figures in cool, ethereal light, the intricate pattern of their Orís serving as the only decoration. The painting’s minimalist composition encourages us to focus on and identify with the Virgin/Eve, whose eyes gaze fixedly into our own. Encircled by the red cloth, the two figures are one in the cycle of life.

The painting’s 24-karat gold leaf background and half-length portrait design recall elements of Byzantine icons and the power of art to comfort and heal. Rosales’s contemporary art continues this tradition anew.


Black Imaginary To Counter Hegemony (B.I.T.C.H.)