My new painting Standing in Victory addresses the oil pipeline under construction spanning five states, including South Dakota. It is known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, Bakken Pipeline, or "black snake" depending on who you ask.
The painting Standing in Victory shows the Standing Rock Sioux nation, as well as their American Indian and other allies (including children) coming together as one unified community to oppose a threat to the environment, clean water, and justice. Their collective efforts summon a maize plant, the rain, and even a rainbow in the night. When this piece is sold, I will send half the sale price received to the Standing Rock Sioux. To make a donation directly, please go to: www.standingrock.org
This paintings shows a variety of people coming together, united against a threat to sacred burial grounds, clean drinking water, and the general environment. The people represented include members of the Standing Rock Sioux nation: youth, children, women and men. There are also supporters of all ages, genders, and colors represented, showing support. The ancestors are also represented and like all the figures, share their voice, thoughts, and energy that has contributed to a victory. The victory refers not to a permanent end to the threat, as there will continue to be threats, but a victory of standing together in strong unity among those present at the construction site and those supporting from around the world.
The figures in Standing in Victory stand in unity and from their voices arises the spirit of a blue maize plant marked with the skeletal strength of the ancestors. It glows in front of a full harvest moon. Above, the clouds release the rain, watering the blossoming flowers below. The flowers are white, representing bones of the ancestors because this is the blossoming of their prophesy. The butterfly and hummingbird accompany the ancestors as they are the messengers between worlds. The rainbow marks the suffering and hope that arises from it, beginning with a challenge and ending in a higher state of consciousness for all affected. Glyphs used in original or modified form are from the ancient book known as the Codex Borgia.
CONNECTION TO PREVIOUS WORK
The blue maiz/corn plant previously appeared in my painting: Planting the Future and is modified from an image in the book known as Codex Borgia.
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I am working on a new painting addressing the oil pipeline under construction spanning five states, including South Dakota. It is known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, Bakken Pipeline, or "black snake" depending on who you ask. Over a hundred American Indian nations have come together to oppose the construction of the pipeline because when it eventually leaks, it will contaminate the main source of their water supply, the Missouri River, and of course the drinking water of many other people, creatures, and beings. It is a potential environmental disaster, so many environmental groups have also come together to oppose the construction.
I oppose the building of this oil pipeline and any future oil pipelines, especially if they severely threaten water sources and destroy sacred burial lands in the process. Below are some progress photos on the artwork, which I intend to sell and send 50% to The Standing Rock Sioux nation to support their efforts to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Please spread the word about the dangers the Dakota Access Pipeline poses to the environment. To learn more, please search the internet for news on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Social media tags include: #nodapl #rezpectourwater #waterislife #waterissacred #standwithstandingrock
I will post soon, once I have the final images of the painting! Thanks for reading!
The painting Where Borders End peels away the illusions that our outer appearances create, revealing our similarity. Despite our different backgrounds, gender, socioeconomic status, heritage, color, language, and lived experience, we all have an inner-being, which we may call “soul,” “spirit,” or “essence.” It is that essence of ourselves which is most relevant once we see beyond the illusions of superiority, judgement, and borders.
Where Borders End shows the essence of a person, traveling in a cycle parallel to the conscious experience of the person. The stations of the cycle are: Transformation, Development, Force of Will, and Creation.
1) Transformation through introspection in the “underworld” by exploring the subconscious root of thoughts and opinions. Physically: resting or replenishing the body.
2) Development through communication and life experience. Physically: the body gains strength.
3) Force of Will by taking action and pushing the limits of what seems possible. Physically: acting on decisions.
4) Creation by shedding skins of the past (healing) and breaking old patterns to create new possibilities. Physically: creating anything, teaching, or practicing arts.
The concepts for this piece were inspired by Mexika (Aztec) teachings which have been passed on mainly through oral tradition. This is my interpretation of what I have learned about the symbolic meaning of the four directions and all that is associated with them. The blue color of the figure serves to detach it from typical human skin colors. Also, turquoise blue in Mexika culture, is the color of harmony and truth.
The image of the spirit of life in the center of the piece, as well as the owl representing the ancestors, are both borrowed from the amoxtli (codex) “Fejérváry-Mayer”. The steps of the teokalli on the left and right as well as the crocodile heads are modified from images in the amoxtli “Borgia.” The colors of the outer edge of the painting are associated with the four cardinal directions when the painting is positioned over the viewers head so the black edge faces north.
CONNECTION TO PREVIOUS PAINTINGS
The figure of the blue “essence” is based on the figures in my painting Reclaiming Autonomy. In my piece Children Manifesting Destiny, the children are a similar blue and the blue tree makes its first appearance. See more work from the series Dolor, muerte y mariposas.
HOW TO SUPPORT MY ART
To purchase this painting, please e-mail me or PayPal Me.
View the Price List here.
Purchase an Art Collector Subscription (for yourself or as a gift.)
The recurring figures in my work, which appear in this painting, are based on my version of the yellow “Border Crossing” sign (also known as an “Immigration Crossing” sign.) The figures, often holding hands in unity, do not run in fear, but move with dignity and determination. My decision to use these figures is due to my close identification with immigrants as I am a descendant of immigrants from Mexico and belong to a community that consists mainly of first, second, and third generation immigrants. The presence of these figures in my artwork serves to present the story of the empowered immigrants and their descendants, and beyond that, to promote unity between humans.
In the painting, Moving On, a woman leads 13 children over a rainbow. The rainbow serves as a bridge crossing over a prison of barbed wire referencing border and immigration issues. The woman, representing the adult leaders of the community, is showing these children another way to transcend the limits and boundaries that may be imposed on them. Beneath the owl, representing the ancestors, these children are on their way to becoming the leaders of the future.
The group heads toward a teokalli (place of energy) which they will climb upward. Under the rainbow is a cactus, as found on the Codex Mendoza, and barbed wire. These details are an allusion to immigration across the U.S. border. The piece is about "moving on" beyond mental illusions, social constructions, to transcend physical existence. This can be considered a metaphorical death, a transformation of the self: a liberation of the mind and spirit.
Certain details can be enjoyed best in person. Please visit again to find out when I will exhibit this painting. Also, sign up for Email Updates in the bar to the right to find out about my new artwork, upcoming exhibitions, and more!
Signed, Framed Prints of Artwork by Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo are now available! Print sizes start at 8.5x11" and cost $45 for an Archival Signed Giclée Print or $20 for a glossy Framed Signed Print. Shipping is FREE within U.S. and tax is included if you purchase directly on www.ejmontelongo.com. Sample below:
See available images available for prints by series:
The Euphoric Dance of the Unconquered Mind
Dolor Muerte y Mariposas
Also available: Archival, Signed Giclée Prints are $45, tax included!
Order your Signed Print today! See the three series here first or start at: http://www.ejmontelongo.com/prints-edum.html
My piece The Way is currently included in an exhibition at Kean University, Human Rights Institute Gallery. It is an honor to exhibit once again with this group of talented, mostly East Coast artists. Please view the links below for more information.
SEPTEMBER 2015 — JANUARY 2016
The We Are You Project combines visual art, poetry, music, performance art and film to explore the lived experiences of Latinos within and beyond the United States. Featured artists uniquely depict current social, cultural, political and economic conditions to increase awareness and inspire action to improve the human experience.
SAVE THE DATES:
Opening Reception — Tuesday, September 15
Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff, 3:30 p.m.
Sponsored by the Office of Student Government
Reception with the Artists, 6 p.m.
Poetry Reading — Thursday, October 8
Guest Lecture & Panel Discussion — Wednesday, October 28
Film Screening — Monday, November 9
José Acosta • Efren Ave • Nelson Álvarez ‘08 • Ray Arcadio • Willie Báez • Josephine Barreiro • Hugo X. Bastidas • Monica S. Camin • Priscila De Carvalho • Jacqui Casale • Gerardo Castro • Pablo Caviedes • Carlos Chavez • Williams Coronado • Olga Cruz • Maritza Davila • Ricardo Fonseca • Roberto Márquez • Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo • Hugo Morales • Lisette Morel • Gabriel Navar • Raphael Montañez Ortíz • Jimmy Peña • Joe Peña • Duda Penteado • Alvin E. Quiñones • Mel Ramos • Rolando Reyna • Ana Laura Rivera • José Rodeiro • Marta Sánchez • Patricio Moreno Toro • Sergio Villamizar • Raúl Villarreal
We Are You Project http://www.weareyouproject.org
Kean University: Human Rights Institute Gallery http://www.kean.edu/academics/human-rights-institute/events
Ragazine.cc article: http://ragazine.cc/2015/09/we-are-you-project-kean-univ/
Kean Exchange: http://www.keanxchange.com/media/pr/we-are-you-project-human-rights-institute-kean-university-celebrates-national-hispanic-heri
The Way. 36x12" mixed media on wood (Photo Credit: José Acosta)
My painting below was sold at auction at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, CA at the museum's 50th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, May 2, 2015.
The piece sold is called Reflection, an acrylic and ink painting on wood that shimmers in the light. 17x17" tall, it is the first in a new style that combines the styles of my previous series: The Euphoric Dance of the Unconquered Mind and Dolor, Muerte, y Mariposas.
100% of the proceeds went to support the museum exhibitions, classes, and events including free events.
-Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo
"Footless Dancers" is my new series of artwork based on a poem I wrote. The series consists of 13 paintings, 7 of which are now done. To see the paintings and read the poem, please visit the gallery page: Footless Dancers. Below is the latest art piece:
Footless Dancers #7: Planted, acrylic and ink on canvas, 28x28".
The lines of the poem that accompany this piece are:
We planted your crosses
Planted our flowers around them
Tied green leaves to the tips...
Please continue reading or click here for more information.
These mixed-media paintings are a combination of my body of work The Euphoric Dance of the Unconquered Mind and my poem Footless Dancers. The poem addresses the indigenous resistance to European beliefs, values, and lifestyle. Although the indigenous people of the Americas are and continue to be pressured to conform, they continue to rebel by various forms of resistance. The paintings in this series present the dancers, as representatives of the indigenous people of the continent, symbolically resisting oppression: Their energy bursts forth despite their confined space; their vibrant colors shine out from the tame grays; they are missing limbs and parts, but continue to dance. In reality, these people and their descendants continue to make their presence felt as we defend our dignity, claim our rights, tell our stories, and continue to speak through our own voices and the voices of others.
See the rest of the series Footless Dancers.
For todays post, I'd like to feature my artwork Xicana Birth and share the idea behind the art. Xicana Birth is 23.5" in diameter, acrylic and ink on wood. I completed it this year, 2014. Please see image below and explanation. Please click the link to view this and other related work on my site. Enjoy!
To choose to identify as Xicano or Xicana is at once a declaration of: consciousness of actual history, solidarity with the struggles of the Chicano civil rights movement (and similar struggles on the continent), a rejection of imposed labels, acknowledgement of nahua roots, an affirmation of cultural identity, and resistance through language.
This piece was inspired by my own Xicana experience. Xicana Birth is not about a physical birth or physical existence, but about a recurring spiritual and intellectual birth (or transformation) which develops through constant introspection while becoming aware of illusions, discovering truth, uniting with the community, and acknowledging a deep connection to nature and the universe.
Xicana Birth includes references to Catholic Mexican culture (figure on the left), the United States of America (figure on the right), and the displacement of Native Americans, First Nations, Mesoamericans, and other indigenous Nican Tlacan people from their homes on this continent. The piece also makes reference to the search for truth in ancestral wisdom, rejection of the illusions that restrict freedom, civil rights and resistance, change and transformation of the spirit, unrestricted immigration, the constant presence of duality (ometeotl, hunab ku, yin yang), the inevitability of transformation, and the possibility of peace through wisdom and unity. There are also a reference to Frida Kahlo's Las Dos Fridas as well as the reuse of iconography from my previous painting Reclaiming Autonomy.
The We Are You Project, a traveling art and poetry exhibition based in New York City featuring Latino artists and their artwork which addresses themes relating to the presence of Latinos in the United States. The next exhibition and accompanying symposium will take place at the Galleries of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs starting September 2014.
The We Are You Project Symposium is scheduled for September 13, 2014 from 10-4pm followed by a reception from 5-7pm.
Please see more details on the We Are You Project website:
Below is the announcement for the symposium featuring my artwork!
I am honored to be an exhibiting artist in the We Are You Project International Traveling Exhibition. I was chosen to participate in 2011, and exhibited artwork in New York City for the first time as part of the We Are You Project and the Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba in March 2012. It was my first time visiting the East Coast as well, it was a pleasure to be warmly received by people such as Dr. José Rodeiro and meet artists Raul Villarreal, Duda Penteado, Nelson Alvarez, and many other well known artists, several who are also professors and very respected members of their community. Also representing the West Coast in WAY Project are Efren Alvarez and Gabriel Navar, both from California. Below is a photo of some of us from our reunion after the exhibition at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland in July 2013. We were treated to a beautiful view of Oakland, California by Eric Murphy of the Joyce Gordon Gallery followed by a special art tour so secret we had to photoshop the background.
An article with more information about the current We Are You Project exhibition in Colorado Springs can be found on the Ragazine.cc website:
"The WAYPI artists exhibiting in UCCS’s GoCA Galleries during fall 2014’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration are: José Acosta, Nelson Alvarez, Josephine Barreiro, Hugo X. Bastidas, Monica S. Camin, Jacqui Casale, Pablo Caviedes, Carlos Chavez, Williams Coronado, Laura L. Cuevas, EfrenAve, Ricardo Fonseca, Roberto Márquez, Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo, Lisette Morel, Gabriel Navar, Isabel Alvarez Nazario, Julio Nazario, Joe Peña, Duda Penteado, Mel Ramos, Ana Laura Rivera, José Rodeiro, Patricio Moreno Toro, Sergio Villamizar, Marta Sanchez-Dallam, and Raúl Villarreal. Also exhibiting are Quintin Gonzalez, Anthony Ortega, and George Rivera, three prominent Colorado contemporary Latino artists.
For further information about this exciting Latino visual arts exhibition and related UCCS WAYPI artistic events contact Ms Daisy McConnell, Director, GoCA Galleries at 719-255-3504 or firstname.lastname@example.org . "
Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo