ISSN: 20526695
First published in 2015
2 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 2
Cover Date: October 2018
Embedded still lifes: Mexican American heritage in the art of Maria Tomasula
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Authors:  Soo Y. Kang 
DOI: 10.1386/jcp.4.2.363_1

Keywords
Maria Tomasula,syncretism,still life,Hispanic art,Mexican Catholicism,Day of the Dead,ofrenda,skull

Abstract
Maria Tomasula’s oil panel still lifes evoke European painting tradition in subject and in style, but the artist also referred to her Mexican Catholic upbringing as a major source of her art. This article discusses the syncretic nature of her works that are embedded in both European and Mexican traditions. It traces the symbolic use of skulls in the European Catholic teachings and in the indigenous Mesoamerican practices. It also relates her images to the altar offerings that are integral part of Mexican and Mexican American experience. As such, her art represents a more expansive case of Latino/a art and of contemporary American art as called for by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto.
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