Art o the Day: Francisco Toledo, “Venados”, 1981

  January 21st, 2011

       (click to enlarge)

       Francisco Toledo, Venados, 1981, Color engraving and aquatint


    ”Venados” means “deer”. Love the anatomical, cross-creature dislocation. Insectoid/grasshopper-faced humanoids wearing deer torsos. Or deer grafted onto humanoids, directing their actions. The enslaved four piled together in bugfaced horror & jaw-lifted deer pride. The leader, meanwhile, deerhaunches spread and sex presented, looking less like the victor & more like the captured.
    & everywhere those deerheads, those eyeless ordered deerheads, their steady border-rhythming broken only by the pale bugfolk feet & by the top-right’s open space (a decision I love for its visual hiccup & sectoring-off of deadspace behind the slave-deer).
    The color too I find so focused in this work: those muted browns & grays & bronzes, the gradation from dark to light until that abrupt nimbus of pale surrounding the ‘leader’. & finally, how incessant are the vectors of hoof & head & leg, marking the beats & tempi of the forced march & the deerhead witnesses.
     A masterful work, part prophecy, homily, stained glass story, abomination & biological confusion.

More of Toledo’s art at
All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by C Way at 7:57 PM]


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