Marianela de la Hoz was born in Mexico City and has lived in San Diego County for the last 10 years. Her detailed painting technique is informed by Surrealism and focuses on representational art. Heaven and Earth, the Determined Freedom of an Undetermined Life consists of an altarpiece with 11 individual paintings. The imagery alludes to well-known biblical narratives, especially the story of Eve. As a part of de la Hoz’s re-contextualized story, a modern Eve, portrayed in the upper region of the central painting, wears an apple on her chest as a type of Scarlet Letter and eats apple pie.
This dramatic altarpiece is inspired in part by the Museum’s painting, Madonna and Child, ca.1468 by Carlo Crivelli, which will be on view across from the altarpiece. While de la Hoz and Crivelli are separated by centuries, their use of tempera, Christian imagery, and the depiction of apples tie the works together visually and notionally. Although Crivelli adheres to one of the most common representations in the history of art—the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus—de la Hoz challenges the role of religion and questions its impact on motherhood and destiny. The artist states, “Personally, I feel closer to Eve because of our imperfections; the Virgin Mary is too perfect and pure for me to attempt to recreate her image.” With these two works together, de la Hoz creates a dialogue between two related but different women, the Virgin Mary and Eve.