The UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum has numerous interesting pieces ofart, which express the artistic nature of a particular aspect.Looking at some of the artworks one marvels at the design andhandiwork cultivated to complete the art. Although the gallery hascountless pieces of art, the La Mano Poderosa (The PowerfulHand), Ex-voto, and the Sorrowful Mother come out asthe most artworks that the gallery possesses. The gallery displaysthe artworks in the exhibitions of the converging cultures and withits grandeur looks, one gets the impression that the art displayedare of high quality. The general atmosphere at the gallery was coolduring the visit to evaluate the different artworks, and one usuallyrevered the presence of guides and the numerous pieces of informationstrewn all over the place. As such, due to the element and importanceof the identified artworks, the paper will discuss their backgrounds,emphasis, and rhythm.
Althoughex-votos have different forms, the ex-voto found underthe converging cultures exhibition in UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museumhas an enigmatic quality that reveals a certain pilgrimage,spiritualism, and authenticity. The ex-voto carries theelement of a metal sheet laid horizontally wherein the scenes takealmost all space and depict the image of a grateful mother thankingthe Virgin of Guadalupe. As such, the artwork has a strongiconographic illustration of devotion, commemoration, and divineintercession. The ex-voto has thee essential components i.e.the image of Virgin Mary hovering over the small image of Jesus and agrateful mother. On the other hand, measuring approximately 10 x 14inches, the ex-voto has three main representations i.e.representation of the Virgin Guadalupe, inscription, and illustrationof the event. However, the deity image depicts little eccentricityfrom official iconography unlike the artistic interpretation of theevent. In this regards, the artwork reveals a matchless form ofconfessional art thus, the devotional painting demonstratesgratitude to Guadalupe where an aficionado in the form of a gratefulmother acts as the means of communication to the divine. Thevisualization of the social-religious discourse to the VirginGuadalupe reveals that the painting is of Mexican origin. Inaddition, the writings under the panting reveal that the paintingprovides a historical aspect aligned to social and political issuesas other paintings suggest (Dewitte and Larmann 23). Gallant andbright colors contribute immensely to the theatrical potential of theex-voto and the sharp deity or the inconsistent and abstrusespaces heighten the visual tension of the painting. The artwork has a2D illustration as revealed and does not revel in its textures butrather in its iconographic and inscription analysis.
The La ManoPoderosa illustrates the right hand of God with the thumb, thefingers overextended upright, and the palm with its stigmata looks tothe observer. The artwork as revealed in the gallery has an oil onmetal medium. Although the exhibition and other studies do not revealthe origin of the artwork, its composure of the disembodied handdemonstrates the devotion to divine intercession. In addition, TheLa Mano Poderosa combines iconographic and historical situationsto reveal and enigmatic and piety quality. As such, the artwork’siconography points to a probable product of the ancient interchangeof Native American convictions, spiritualism, Iberian Catholicism,and African-based beliefs. Measuring approximately, 13 7/8 x 10 1/16inches (35.2 x 25.6 cm), the painting has a light color representedin a 2D illustration. The most notable features of the painting i.e.five fingers, hand of the God, and the Arma Christi and the lambssignify the iconographic illustrations of spiritualism and piety asaforementioned. The La Mano Poderosa has the appearance of ahuge injured right hand, unvarying length fingers, elongated thinthumb, small-disembodied feathered cherub-heads, four kowtowingfemale angels, and tools of crucifixion. Diety illustrations inpaintings reveal an iconography aspect of religion or devotion((Dewitte and Larmann 41)
On theother hand, the Sorrowful Mother illustrates Mary with a swordin her heart, a representation of the sorrow she endured uponwitnessing Jesus’ crucifixion. The image with its bold and vividcolors show Mary dressed in a blue cloak with arms folded as if inprayers. Dressed in deep shades of blue and red, Mary is in despairwith her face turned upward. In fact, the iconography representssadness and anguish as expressed by the sadness and tears in Mary’sface. The Sorrowful Mother is an advocacion that illustratesgrief, pain, compassion, and martyrdom. Drawn on an Oil on tin modelike the aforementioned paintings, the painting revels in women likethe ex-voto with spiritualism, devotion, and compassion as the mostnotable contextual aspects of the painting.
Looking at thethree paintings under the exhibition of culture converged it isnoteworthy to note that all the paintings have a great alignment tospiritualism and devotion. In addition, the paintings’ elements andmode of representation reveals that they have their origins inMexico. The Sorrowful Mother, Ex-voto, and the LaMano Poderosa have notable features that align with piety andrespect with the Virgin Mary playing a key role in the paintings.Although painted in 2D impressions, with vivid colors and of oil onmetal materials, the paintings have a strong impression to religionand great handiwork.
Dewitte, Debra J., and Ralph M. Larmann. Gateways to art:understanding the visual arts. New York: Thames & Hudson,2012. Print.
Ex-voto (with Virgin of Guadalupe). 1970. Photograph. UNLVMarjorie Barrick Museum, Las Vegas.
Sorrowful Mother (Nuestra Señora de los Dolores). 19thCentury. UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum, Las Vegas.
The Powerful Hand (La Mano Poderosa). 19th Century.UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum, Las Vegas.
Ex-voto,Culture converged from UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum
SorrowfulMother (Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, Culture converged fromUNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum
The PowerfulHand (La Mano Poderosa), Culture converged from UNLV MarjorieBarrick Museum