At the book shop of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, I was struck by some very colorful ceramic statues of various sizes. I bought one with the intent, upon my return to Italy, to investigate its origins and above all its meaning, as well as to rework it artistically in my image and likeness.
Initially called Calavera Garbancera and then minted Catrina by Diego Rivera in 1947, it was created by the famous Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada in 1910 during Porfirio Dìaz’s dictatorship and the subsequent Mexican Revolution.
Posada combines pre-Columbian iconography of skulls and skeletons and Western images of Christian roots to criticize, in his satirical cartoons, the repression and corruption of the country, the wealthy social classes and all those people who renounce their origins in favor of European models.
Dressed in elegant dresses, a bizarre flowery hat and a feather boa, Catrina represents something that regardless of class differences, skin color, or who we are, unites us all…death.