The first time she did so, Antonio freaked out and mistook her for her mom, falling to his knees and begging for forgiveness. After calming the exasperated Spaniard and revealing that she was /not/ Itzel (her mom) she reasoned that she should just keep her hair curly. Or at least, not wear her hair down when it was straight.
Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?
It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision.
La Malinche (also known as Malinalli, Malintzin, or Doña Marina) was a close confidant of the conquistador Hernán Cortés. Born around 1500 to a Nahua family near the border between Aztec and Mayan lands, La Malinche is believed to have been sold into slavery by her family as a young girl. In 1519, she was one of 20 female slaves given to Hernán Cortés by the Mayans. Fluent in both Nahuatl and Chontal Mayan, La Malinche quickly distinguished herself as translator, negotiator, and cultural mediator for the Spanish. Within a few years, La Malinche bore Hernán’s son and married Juan Jaramillo, a Spanish hidalgo, with whom she had a daughter. It is unclear what happened to La Malinche after 1526. Estimates of her year of death range from 1527 to 1551.
La Malinche can be seen as victim of slavery, a traitor to her people, or as a founding mother of Mexico. A slave sold into bondage by her own family, she may not have felt she owed allegiance to the existing powers of Mesoamerica. Conversely, she may have been hoping that the Spanish could save the Nahua people from the brutality of the Aztecs. Her defining characteristic may be her ability to not only survive but also thrive during a dangerous time.