Friday, March 21, 2008

Viernes Santo- Good Friday

Since it is Good Friday, Viernes Santo here in Mexico, I wanted to share these two paintings that I did my first year living in Mexico. That was 1990.
Here is my confession. I do not know what size they are or the titles that I gave them. I am bad at keeping records of that sort, but I was even worse back then. Maybe it seemed presumptuous to me to think that it would matter. Maybe I was just lazy. They are probably about 24"x30" give or take a little. Oil on canvas. These are scanned from fairly bad snap shots.

On Viernes Santo there are Via Crucis (Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross) all over Mexico. I was living in Atotonilco, and this was the first time that I ever saw anything quite like this. They reenact the Stations of the Cross with local folks playing the roles. Everyone turns out to watch. They end up with the crucifixion in front of the church.

I liked the fact that the guy in the foreground had his crown of thorns over a wool cap.

I have a few other paintings or the Via Crucis, but I am was so bad about photographing my art and keeping records, that I could not find images.

Here are a few more photos of the procession. These are from 1990 in Atotonilco.
The views from above were taken from the roof where I was living at the time. Then I went down into the crowd. There are a few others taken by a friend of mine, Phil, who was visiting at the time.

Thanks for looking!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that has to be an impressive spectacle! Wish they did something like it here. Thanks for showing us these.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Silvina. It IS a really impressive thing, much more so in real life, when you can hear the sounds and smell the smells....
In some places they really nail themselves to the cross still. This guy was just tied on.
I really appreciate you taking the time to check this out.

Anonymous said...

Really nail themselves on?! That's a bit extreme.
Have a nice Easter.

My Castle in Spain said...

Hello Frank,

Thank you for your kind comment.
Well, yes they really reenact the Passion of Christ where you are ! Religious fervor goes deeper in Mexico

I too agree it's a little bit extreme. Did you ever had a chance to talk to the people participating to the procession ? It must be really interesting


Ed Terpening said...

Wow, amazing spectacle. Made to paint. Glad to your interpretation.

Frank Gardner said...

Yes Silvina. I think that is a little extreme too.

Hola Lala, I think that is one thing the church siezed upon when conquering Mexico. Mexicans do have a religiuos fervor and love for ceremony. They just switched gods.
I did know a few people involved in this. I also had a friend who was a carpenter. He wanted to travel to the place that they actually nailed you to the cross so he could be Jesus. He would have ruined his hands and skill as a carpenter. He was talked out of it.

I could not resist doing a few paintings of this Ed.
Thanks for your comments.

Frank A. said...

Frank.. I really enjoyed your series of pictures. Especially, loved your early pieces of the crucifiction. Solid work !
This is a special insight to the occasion. Thanks for showing these.

Take care..

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Frank A.
I'm glad you enjoyed my pictures of this.
I appreciate your comments on the paintings too.

Unknown said...

I love the crucifixion painting, absolutely amazing.


Hi Frank,
I'm a brazilian painter and really appreciated your blog and paintings.
You know what? We have the same tradition down here in Brazil, we call it Sexta-feira Santa and this year I played the role of the bad thief for approximately 15,000 people, most of them crying and holding candles in the night. It was amazing!
Thanks and congrats,
Luciano Figueiredo

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Luciano! thanks for stopping by.
The Sexta-feira Santa sounds real cool. That must be fun and moving emotionally to participate in and to see.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Eric!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Talk about Religious fervor.
I'd prefer to be spared the nailing and the wailing that would surely accompany such a freakish display.

The paintings are dramatic. You really captured the mood.

Frank Gardner said...

It's not that bad Mary. You'd have to be there to see for yourself.
Thanks for the comments on the paintings. I appreciate it.

Bill Sharp said...

Very powerful painting, Frank.

Frank Gardner said...

Thank you very much Bill. It was nice to dust off the snap shots of these older paintings. It's like visiting an old friend.