Art, Ancestors, And Ana Mendieta

Detail of page from Who Is Ana Mendieta by Christine Redfern and Caro Caron. Licensed under CC 2.0
Detail of page from Who Is Ana Mendieta by Christine Redfern and Caro Caron. Licensed under CC 2.0

“My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that tie me to the universe. ” – Ana Mendieta

It has been over 30 years since the brilliant, talented, visionary, and spiritual artist Ana Mendieta plunged to her death on the streets of New York City. But all too often in stories like hers people focus on the negative and not the beauty of what was, and what remains behind.

In her lecture at NYU Divinating Black Body and Black African Sisterhood, scholar Genevieve Hyacinth “confronted issues of race and ethnicity, comparing Mendieta’s work to other Cuban female performance artists, and considering it in relation to the Black Cuban spiritual practice of Santería (Also known as Lucumi). While Hyacinth acknowledged that Mendieta did not actually practice Santería herself, she asserts that Mendieta drew on the religion in her performances to ‘assault her whiteness and social privileges.’ ” The work of Ana Mendieta is certainly magickal. It burst forth from her Cuban roots, informed by the majesty of nature and ourselves. She pushed boundaries and at their core that is what art and magick are about. Some of her artwork included earth, water, blood … the stuff of life.

In a lecture earlier this year her niece Raquel Cecelia Mendieta spoke about Ana Mendieta’s art, films, and life.

Like so many visionaries, Ana Mendieta’s strong and beautiful life was cut too short. Thank you for reading this blog if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to share, share, share.


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