“Sangre y Leche” by Erick Guzman

“Sangre y Leche (La Malinche y La Virgin de Guadalupe).” Inspired from the Octavio Paz’s “The Sons of la Malinche,”. The purpose of this was to illustrate the dichotomy of two of the most prominent women in Mexican folklore and history. The piece was made by mixing pig’s blood and milk inside of a tin-baking pan.  “La Malinche” was an indigenous woman of Mexico who played an integral part during the Spanish conquest of the New World. During the conquest, she served as an interpreter between the indigenous people and the Spanish conquistadors. She is often branded as a traitor however, because she is thought to have purposely let the Spanish take advantage of the Aztecs during negotiations of trade and war. She was also a mistress to Cortez and birthed a new nation when she had the first ever Mestizo child (children from European and Indigenous ancestry). La Virgin de Guadalupe is a venerated image in the Mexican community, as she is the Mestizo Virgin Mary. Appearing before Juan Diego, a Mexican, she instructed him to build a church in Mexico City. Although both of these images served as a way for the Spanish to conquer the people through religion and through the mixing of the populations, the two figures are often entangled in a virgin/whore complex, which venerates one figure, and vilify the other.

Along with the representation of these two motherly figures, the blood and milk are meant to pay homage to the taboo in various religions of the mixing between blood and milk. As blood is often seen as dirty and milk is often seen as pure, the mixing is symbolic for the birth of the Mexican nation, as need both liquids in order to be alive and thrive. The piece asks the reader to confront the grotesque nature of blood and “whoredom” with the beauty and purity that is seen with the “Virgen.” The line blur however, as the liquids mix together, symbolizing the mixture between Virgin and Malinche, both which were used as tools for colonizing the Aztec people.

More of my work can be seen at  http://erick-guzman.com

Leave a Reply