By Christopher Hann
I grew up in Mexico City. I lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia for a few years with my grandparents. My mother was born and raised there. Other than that, I spent basically my whole life here in Mexico before going to college.
What was really important to me was the transparency of painting, where you could really see the process. I realized that the human mind has this capability of recognizing through symbols things that are so much greater than symbols. When I got back to Mexico, it was just when all the decapitated people started showing up. I could recognize in a severed head a whole body and at the same time recognize a whole person.
The Roman Catholic Church glorifies death. We have these very rich traditions in Mexico. So it’s not just a thing of sorrow, but a thing to celebrate.
I think it was de Kooning who said that oil paints were made to represent the flesh. It’s not opaque, and it’s not transparent. When you look at photographs of dead people or you look at meat, it’s got this luscious, sensuous feeling to it.