Guadalupe Maravilla as Artist and Healer

In his Brooklyn studio, El Salvador, Guadalupe was born to activate Guadalupe Maravilla “Dizzy Drover # 0,” the latest in his popular series of sculptures that heal the power of vibrational sound.

The author, recovering from a rare cancer, took his place on an elevated non-steel platform, his hinged feet facing a solid metal gong. She relaxed in the artist’s ritual space – part sculpture, part shrine. It was covered with a mysterious substance infused with ashes from the healing ceremony, which Maravilla, who is a cancer survivor, performed in Queens last summer for hundreds of fellow veterans.

The sounds were made slowly, before starting to sound like a low rabbit turned into a loud guttural buzzer that she could feel as it entered her body behind the hollows of her thighs. “We want to say ‘thank you’ to those parts of the body that have struggled,” the artist told me as I stood on the platform. “Thank you for healing them and for being patient through difficult times.”

If you are a gifted teacher, read this with Marvel Masters. At the age of just 8 years, he became the victim of civil war violence in El Salvador and began to sentence 3,000 miles, 2 months to the US-Mexico border, from Coyote to Coyote, before finally crossing the border. Crossed the border as an undocumented immigrant. 28 years later, when a graduate student at Hunter College, Maravilla was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. To alleviate radiation and other residual pain, he switched to indigenous healing practices, some of which he inherited from his ancestors. The main of these were “acoustic baths” that use the vibration of sounds from mumble, conical shells, tuning cants and other instruments to restore tranquility and balance and exclude toxic substances in the body.

“Dizzy Drover # 0” (2022) is one of 10 works by Guadalupe Maravilla: Terra Blanca Juan, a solo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum on April 8 (through September 18). The title refers to a fifth-century volcanic eruption that threw Maya – a shorthand artist for three generations of displacement, including her own. The oldest, exhibit of cultural artifacts is represented by whistles, conch shells and other Maya objects that he has chosen to display from the museum’s permanent collection. The most recent example shows undocumented Central American youth detained in upstate New York, in a video captured with the artist in which they collectively process the details of daily life.

Artist pieces also appear in the “Guadalupe Maravilla: Lu يs y Forza” Museum of Modern Art until October 30 – the Spanish title translates to “Hope and Power”. There are Healing Sound baths offered for tourists until June. An exhibition called “Sound Botanica” recently opened at the Henny Onsted Art Center in Norway.

The concept of healing and reincarnation infuses the seemingly endless array of things in Maravilla’s work and in his studio – a plastic mosquito, several toy snakes, a large metal butter, a physical display of human feces, a dehydrated grouped dehydrated. (The artist paints them.) And the bottle was used to bless a Florida water shelf, to name a few. A dry manta ray bravely hangs over the entrance – a gesture to the creatures of the sea that prevent him from looking like a boy by climbing the tide to reveal his location to his parents.

Items included in the works such as “Dizzy Horror # 0” – loafah sponges and a nail hammock that offer respite to the ancestors, for example – are pages in a complex story in which past traumas, if properly treated. , They can lead to spiritual and creative renewal.

Another world-class aesthetic of Maravilla, also known as a series of Latin American civilian paintings known as the Retablos, is particularly influenced by the Maya culture, especially the Honduran stone steel and pyramid plants. Which were his Salvadoran children’s playground. “It was layer after layer,” he recalled of those ancient forms. “The whole world was there.”

Although often autobiographical, artist-like sculptures and other works speak on global topics like disease, war, migration and loss. The “looking birds are riding on the back of the heavenly serpent” (2021), a large wall piece on MoMA, for example, incorporating a baby’s walking boat and crooks into a wreath of ribbon and dried mega leaves. Why, a reference for children crossing the border.

“In the midst of the epidemic and war in Ukraine, everyone is feeling psychologically awkward and weak and scared,” said Eugene Tsai, senior curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, where the exhibition is part of Mindscapes, an international cultural-mindedness. The beginning of health. General Chat Chat Lounge “Guadalupe’s practice speaks to all those things.”

His cancer diagnosis, which happened on his 36th birthday, has caused a change in his style and prompted him to take a path back down the aisle as he traveled as a frightened boy. He now performs these tours regularly, picking up “the right energy” for his sculptures along the way.

His maiden name was Aaron Morton. In 1980, his father went to El Salvador when he saw the brother’s severed body – the artist’s aunt – hanging on a tree, and identified a shirt he had borrowed. Two years later, following young Aaron’s mother, he moved in with relatives.

After many years, Aaron began his dangerous journey north. He would carry a small notebook, often playing “Tripa Chuka” (“Dirty Gut”) on the road, a Salvadorian children’s drawing drawing game for two people compared to “fingerprints between two people.” Would do with It has since become a signature element in his exhibition.

In Tijuana, he spent two weeks in a hotel room, waking up through a coyote racking up at 3am in the morning before taking care of several young children. The man was sitting in the back of a pick-up truck with a white dog on top of him to hide from the Border Agents – much like a white kiddo., A flat character that protects travelers from harm. (Arun acquired his citizenship in 2006.)

His birthday, December 12, coincides with the whole day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, celebrating Jesus’ mother. Her own mother, who died of cancer in 2007, revealed during her illness that she wanted to give her baby’s name to Guadalupe, but her husband voted in favor of more masculinity. In 2016, to remember his second chance at life after cancer, the artist changed his name, choosing Maravilla, meaning “Marvel” or “strange” in Spanish, to honor the fake identity bought by his undocumented father. To be

Maravilla attributes the cancer and other illnesses in his family to the racial trauma of war, migration, family separation and the pressures of being undocumented. In 1987, his mother was deported to El Salvador for two years after an immigration raid on a New Jersey factory where he worked. It had a huge impact on her health, the artist said.

Nevertheless, he views his own cancer as a blessing, designed to heal his practice from doing more efficient tasks to creating a spiritually powerful statue. “I’ve always been interested in learning about ancient healing techniques,” Maravilla said. “But before the illness I didn’t know how to do it.” In his retabulos – a collaboration with fourth-generation retabol painter Daniel Vilchis of Mexico City – he thanked the radiation machine that killed his neck, the locals who nurtured him, the plant medicines, which are the shaman’s. With the help of , Helped him identify that he had a problem with his stomach.

The name “Disease Drawer” means to express the brutality and power of a indigenous deity (although it is technically made of glue and fiber cooked in microwave). Some of these plaques, such as sculptures, refer to cancer with plastic anatomy models of the breasts, calluses, and other parts of the body. Some are associated with zodiacal crabs.

Maravilla focuses mostly on the healing baths of people recovering from cancer and the undocumented community, where a large number of workers lost their jobs during the outbreak. “I have 35 years of experience before them,” he said of crossing the border. “I know what can happen when trauma is not cured.

He regrets that healing has become a commodity and is determined to offer his practice for free.

Last summer at Socrates’ statue park at “Planeta Abeilleux”, he created an outdoor sound bath environment, anchored by two vehicle-scaled metal sculptures, designed with a large gong crown. The installation was surrounded by a drug garden that the artist had planted: he even hired a firecracker to ensure that “everyone who freed” – more than 1,500 participated in four months – was covered by flames. General Chat Chat Lounge Reviewing the New York Times, critic Martha Schooner writes, “This project is one of the best Socrates has presented in recent years.”

The artist’s goal is to create a permanent healing center in Brooklyn with artists, voice therapists and other staff. “I’m not going to heal anyone with a magic wand,” he said of his method. “I think we are our medicine.”

At the height of the outbreak on Saturday, he bathed for undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers at The Lutheran Church of the Shepherd in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where the pastor, Joan Carlos Ruiz, was undocumented in her first eight years. Yes. United States. Initially, the ritual took place on the hard stone floor of the sanctuary.

But when the incident took place at the Fellowship Hall next door, with its wooden plank floor, the wiring became deeper and the floor became “a larger wooden bed,” the pastor said. Some members of the community had not slept in months. “You can have scratches at the end of the session,” he said.

Aristotle Joseph Sanchez, the father of three children, spent 19 months in a Georgia detention center, a trial that has affected three Maravila retablos.

Sanchez has been diagnosed with a variety of physical ailments, including diabetes, and was somewhat mysterious before the “bohemian” presence. But as Maravilla shared his story and explained his purpose, Sanchez said he knew good things were going to happen.

He became more pain free. “It’s the intention and the intensity,” he said. “Heal you until you believe.”

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