The idea for “The Tempest” came from two different sources. The first is Shakespeare’s play of the same title and the second from Fiordiligi’s aria of steadfast love in Mozart’s opera “Cosí Fan Tutte”. I wanted to depict hope and strength of character in the face of adversity, symbolized by a figure confronting a gathering storm.
If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them,
The sky, it seems would pour down the stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to th’welkin’s cheek,
Dashes the fire out, O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel―
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her―
Dashed all to pieces, O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart, Poor souls, they perished.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or ere
It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The fraughting souls within her.
~ William Shakespeare “The Tempest”
Come scoglio immoto resta
Contra i venti, e la tempesta,
Così ognor quest’alma è forte
Nella fede, e nell’amor.
Con noi nacque quella face
Che ci piace, e ci consola,
E potrà la morte sola
Far che cangi affetto il cor.
~ Mozart “Così Fan Tutte”
Like a rock, we stand immobile
against the wind and storm,
and are always strong
in trust and love.
From us is born the light
that gives us pleasure and comfort,
and the power of death alone
can change the affections of our hearts.
~ (English translation by Natalie Miller)
“Child with Milagros” is currently on exhibit at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe. It is part of the group show “GenNext: Future So Bright” featuring contemporary artists working with New Mexican imagery with historical and indigenous roots. The show runs thru March 29, 2019. The painting is available for purchase from the Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe.
Milagros are religious charms used as votive offerings at altars or shrines to aid in the healing of illnesses and wounds. They are often fashioned in the forms of body parts. In this painting, a pair of coral arms and a sacred heart are worn on a necklace.