palenque

Palenque

2022
Oil on Canvas
Installation on Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
170 x 70 cm

Palenque was an ancient Mayan city. Today, its ruins are surrounded by dense jungle and a town infested with corruption, enabled by the current president of Mexico (whose ranch is in Palenque).

This work was inspired by Raphael Alessandro Tunesi, a local expert on ancient Mayan language, writing, and culture based in Palenque, who I admired. He was killed in July 2022.

I then traveled with Palenque to Los Angeles and installed it on Sunset Boulevard, in a gentrified (previously Mexican) neighborhood, unbeknown to passersby. Over the next 45 minutes, I observed their reactions from my seat in a cafe.

Surprisingly, a majority of passersby did notice Palenque and tried not to walk on it. Their gazes, full of questions, were naturally drawn to the painting.

oil on canvas painting of jungle surrounding palenque on sunset boulevard