|A little milk with my tea, I think.|
La Calavera Catrina, as she became known, was made famous by her inclusion in the Diego Rivera mural Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central), which was also intended as social commentary. At the center, the complacent bourgeoisie of the years before the revolution stroll with death, while oppression of indigenous people happens around them. Various pop-culture and political figures appear, including Frida Kahlo. Since Wikipedia has a permissible-to-use image, I'm going to embed it here, as we'll want it for comparison in a moment.
|I'm the Diego Rivera original.|
|I'm the tribute at ALCA.|
"Expression of heritage" is actually what Catrina herself has become: she's the "fan favorite" among the calacas, with the only active link to her original meaning being occasional references to "death comes to rich and poor alike." (Looking further for the history of calacas led me to CALACA, a local arts organization that is doing an exhibit on contemporary interpretations of Día de los Muertos at a time and place I can realistically get to, so I may come away, two weeks from now, thinking something else entirely.)
I went to ALCA because I had Thursday off and didn't want to spend it responsibly on errands that I ordinarily do on Saturdays. The art gallery and gift shop are a little storefront in downtown Phoenix, in the convention-hotel belt. Here's its mural, across the adjacent building.
|The Arizona centennial mentioned was in 2012. States like Massachusetts tell us to get off the lawn.|
|That awkward moment when you realize that Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's name means "cow head."|
The art in ALCA's windows is a little edgier and is from local artists. Most of my photos had too much glare from the facing hotel tower, but here are a couple samples.
|Madonna and child.|
|The one on the left may be Mexico Barbie.|
|Day of the Dead accessories: $3.99 each or two for $6.|
Here's Elena Rodriguez (modern Teresa) looking nervous and uncomfortable with Catrina, possibly because she knows Catrina's satire was originally aimed at exactly what Mattel has made her.
Manuel Estrella is much more comfortable with Catrina, in a blurry way. He is giving her advice on proper nutrition.
|Catrina admires the collection of Western memorabilia.|