Jorge Soto Sánchez, born New York, NY 1947-died White River Junction, VT 1987 Search this
sheet and image: 25 7/8 x 39 7/8 in. (65.7 x 101.3 cm)
1974, revised 1984
In the early 1970s, Soto Sánchez saw Francisco Oller’s El Velorio (1893), an iconic Puerto Rican painting that depicts a baquiné, a folk Catholic custom that commemorates the death of a child. On the island this tradition resonates with African diasporic belief systems. Soto Sánchez’s version takes place in New York City and is populated by figures that sprout heads from joints and other parts of their bodies. These mutating forms are visual manifestations of ritualized spirit possession central to Santeria. Soto Sánchez formed part of a community of diasporic Puerto Rican artists who, unlike many cultural elites on the island, affirmed the importance of Afro-Puerto Rican culture.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013