In Aztec mythology, Coatlicue (”she with serpent skirts”) is the mother of the 400 stars in the sky, and one daughter, Coyolxauhqui (”she with bells on her cheeks”). When Coatlicue becomes pregnant illegitimately (by touching a tuft of hummingbird feathers - this sort of stuff happens a lot in Mesoamercan mythos), her children become both embarrassed and enraged. But none more so than her daughter, Coyolxauhqui. Together with her 400 brothers, she launches an attack on her mother, but it is foiled when her mother’s unborn son Huitzilopochtli (”the hummingbird on the left”) springs forth from her womb, armed for battle.

Huitzilopochtli dismembers Coyolxauhqui, and flings her head into the sky where it becomes the moon, so that her mother might look upon her always.


My designs for the opera Xochicuicatl cuecuechtli, the first opera sung entirely in Nahuatl, performed in Mexico City. I make costumes for Danzantes; if you are interested, send me a note, and follow my facebook page devoted to my paintings and atuendo, at this link!

‘Stimmung’ For The New Yorker

Small piece I did for The New Yorker about a performance by six vocalists of Stockhausen’s Stimmung. The man who wrote the piece spoke about acquiring the mood and inspiration for the piece first at Mexican ruins and second in Connecticut watching snow falling along the Long Island Sound.

Channeling Miyazaki realness for this. Not really, I’m deluding myself, but I definitely had a Ghibli vibe while painting this. It’s probably the spirits. 

Thanks to AD Deanna Donegan