Grabé en la penca del maguey | I carved on a maguey leaf, 2021. Engravings on maguey leaves. This is a series of 13 carved maguey leaves (or pencas), all taken from suburban California yards, and carved using the púa (point) of the maguey leaf. Dimensions: Approximately 46 in x 6 in each.
This series takes its title from the popular 1976 Mexican film starring Vincente Fernández, La ley del monte, where Fernández sings about carving the name of his love onto la penca de un maguey. Here, I am trying to re-imagine the act of carving on maguey leaves, thinking of it instead as a gesture of reconnection, because the maguey plant is at the center of an entire cosmos in the region of México where I’m from yet is only a decorative plant in the US. The engravings show iconography that symbolizes stories of migrant diaspora. As the pencas have dried over time, they have turned brown and the carvings have scarred over. These images, drawn in scars, are reminders of our stories.
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