Artist Manuel Pecina modernizes Mesoamerican gods in legacy art photography show

Artist Manuel Pecina modernizes Mesoamerican gods in legacy art photography show

Early variations of Manuel Pecina’s art photography used 1 makeup artist and an assistant. People were being tough drafts. 

The portraits of 7 deities that comprise his Deidades, which shows at the Kente Royal Gallery in Harlem, New York, Nov. 3-21, essential a little team, including costume designer Ricardo Alarcón, two makeup and physique-paint artists, a hairstylist and an assistant. 

The 20 parts in the clearly show were developed within just the final two a long time, but he begun earning these sensible portraits of fashionable Mesoamerican gods in 2008.

And now this is the conclusion. 

“I’m heading to retire it with all those 7 deities,” he says. 

New York-based mostly artist and conclusion-of-daily life doula Marne Lucas is presenting the demonstrate together with her own, Quietus, “black-and-white infrared thermal pictures and collage is effective on paper exploring mortality, spirit and transformation.” 

The two fulfilled mainly because of her connection to Dallas as a former artist-in-home at CentralTrak, the UT Dallas artist residency. 

He regarded her Bardo Task straight away from reading through about the realm that some Buddhists consider lies in between death and rebirth, “bardo.” 

Lucas companions with artists who have existence-limiting illnesses, doing work to progress ongoing “legacy projects” like Pecina’s portraits of gods.

Ixchel as Jaguar, and Juracan by Manuel Pecina.

“I contacted her for the reason that I have a terminal illness, and my only heal is a lung transplant,” Pecina claims.

Pecina was born in Rockwall and has normally been a traveler. He’s lived in Spain, France and various components of the United States. He moved from Los Angeles to Oak Cliff in 1993 and purchased a dwelling in North Cliff with his now ex-spouse. They have a son, Sebastian, 22, who also life in Oak Cliff and has two young children below 2. 

Pecina’s art career has run parallel to a person in pc science. Everyday living in middle administration money lifestyle in artwork. Beforehand, he was in the plane market, very first doing the job on military services and business helicopters and jets, then on ambulance helicopters at Addison Airport.

“I utilized to fly all over a great deal and repair items that jiggled or designed noise,” he suggests. 

Then he started out shooting plane interiors as a industrial photographer and wound up receiving a master of fantastic arts diploma from UTD. 

He describes himself as a “busy human body,” that means he can in no way sit continue to. From 2012-15 he owned and operated Ant Colony, a gallery at 417 N. Tyler St. 

The opus culminating in Deidades started with his lifelong curiosity about faith. He was lifted Catholic and is of Jewish descent on his mother’s side, and neither religion imprinted absolutely. Then he began understanding about Mesoamerican religion, and he realized that was element of him, as well. 

“I just felt like they had been a few distinctive religions that I was caught up involving,” he says.

He was influenced by a guide, David T. Raphael’s Conquistadores and Crypto Jews of Monterrey, which tells the story of Jews who averted persecution throughout the Spanish Inquisition. That made him want to dive deeper into Mesoamerican religions. 

The models’ stances and costumes in Pecina’s portraits drew from his study of publications by an anthropologist, UT Arlington professor Julia Guernsey. 

Ricardo Alarcón is a Mayan dancer who manufactured all of the costumes and headdresses.

“What we worship does not matter, or it does matter,” Pecina claims. “In the finish, faith is there to deliver a remedy for us, regardless of whether it is meditation or prayer or chanting. It is there to help us stay targeted, keep enthusiastic and maintain a certain commitment that can help hold us linked to the earth and serving to to elevate many others.”

Pecina 1st obtained checked in April 2016 mainly because of shortness of breath. He suggests he knew he was in trouble when the medical professional known as about his examination final results and questioned if he was a smoker, though he never ever smoked in his daily life.

The prognosis arrived about five months later on: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 

It is an environmental condition that outcomes in scarring of the lung tissue, which can make it tricky to breathe, and it worsens in excess of time. 

“It has almost nothing to do with autoimmune disease,” he says. “It’s not COPD. I’ve discovered there are more than 200 diverse pulmonary diseases. I happened to be fortunate adequate to agreement one they really do not know how to handle.” 

He’s unbiased and enjoys to roam, but he retains discovering new limits. This earlier summer season, he drove from Texas to California and up the Pacific Coastline Highway. He stayed in Washington point out for a while and then drove back again down, hitting Utah and Colorado. Driving on your own over sites with tremendous-significant elevation brought on his oxygen saturation to drop substantially. 

“I was lucky that I had my moveable oxygen concentrator with me,” he suggests. 

But it was terrifying.

“My new limitation is that I can’t go earlier mentioned 2,800 feet with out oxygen,” he suggests. 

His future vacation will be to the Texas coastline this winter. 

He claims he’s at this time on about a dozen medications. One particular of them, an experimental drug called nintedanib, expenditures practically $10,000 a thirty day period, which he has a grant to include. 

His lung purpose has improved so substantially lately that he was downgraded on the transplant list. But he’s thinking about quitting the medicines right after conference men and women in a guidance group who’ve lived 10-15 a long time with the condition already with no transplant or medication.

He manages the stress and anxiety that the ailment brings via restorative yoga and reverse nostril respiration. 

The visuals in the display were being selected this summer season when Pecina and Lucas were in Los Angeles. 

“It’s been handy mainly because art is a single of the matters that allows me ignore about the health issues,” he says. 

Pecina, 61, considers himself retired, and he likes to acquire tenting excursions. He’s gotten seriously into building coffee outside, and he enjoys sleeping on the floor with no tent, underneath the stars. 

The conclusion of this collection is not the close of his get the job done as an artist. His residence is at the moment on the industry, and he needs to transfer into a dwell/function place where he can target on his subsequent job: fashionable portraits set in the Renaissance period.