Sor Juana del Prado
Archival inks on Moab paper
90.5 x 40 inches
© Ric Kokotovich
For hundreds of years, artists have paid tribute to other artists by creating their own interpretations or versions of well-known pieces of art. Picasso spent two years painting hundreds of interpretations of the famous Velazquez Las Meninas, while Joel-Peter Witkin, Vik Muniz and Salvador Dali were among many artists who paid homage to Velazquez by also interpreting this work.
Sor Juana del Prado is my tribute to Bellini’s Madonna del Prato. The incredible life of Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz was a catalyst for the story I wanted to create. Sor Juana was a brilliant writer and philosopher born in 1651 who, at the age of three, taught herself to read in a time when women were forbidden to look at books. By the age of eight, she had composed a poem on the Eucharist and by 13 she was teaching Latin to other children. She also learned to speak Nahuatl, an ancient Aztec language. At 15, she entered a monastery to be able to study what she wished. Sor Juana was an outspoken proponent of a womans right to an education, and it was her criticism of misogyny and the hypocrisy of men that evenually led to her downfall. I believe her place in Mexico's history is alongside the iconic figures of Frida Kahlo and Guadalupe.
I currently live and work in Merida Mexico and I can't help but be influenced by the stories of this rich culture on both the macro and micro levels.