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¡Loteria!

Mar 15, 2015

Joshua_Coffy_Loteria_artThe rooster, the dandy, the devil, the mermaid, the watermelon.

These are the names of five cards in Loteria, a game similar to bingo, which originated in Italy in the 15th century, was brought to New Spain (Mexico) in 1769, and was  a hobby of the upper classes before becoming a tradition at Mexican fairs.

The soldier, the spider, the shrimp, the drum, the bonnet.

Rather than call out the name of a card, sometimes riddles are told and players have to guess which card answers the riddle.

 

“The lamp of lovers.”

Answer: the moon.

 

“The hat of kings.”

Answer: the crown.

 

Loteria_Cards

 

“This one dies by its mouth, even if it was mute in life.”

Answer: the fish. (We would never have gotten that one.)

 

“Fresh and pleasantly scented, beautiful all the time.”

Answer:

El Pino #49 (Predetermination 1), acrylic on matboard, 8" x 10", by Bill Wheeler

El Pino #49 (Predetermination 1), acrylic on matboard, 8″ x 10″, by Bill Wheeler

 

Some play by creating rhymes rather than riddles and there are several variations of the deck. Originally, the cards had images of “popular Mexican figures,” such as “El Catrin” (The Gentleman), “El Borracho” (The Drunk), “La Calavera” (The Skeleton), etc.¹

 

El Catrin #4, acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12", by Eden Folwell

El Catrin #4, acrylic on canvas, 9″ x 12″, by Eden Folwell

 

Cactus Gallery has invited fifty artists to interpret the 54 iconic Loteria cards. Their works—paintings, mixed media, paper mache, hand dyed fabric, ink, sculpture, clay, glass, photography, and paper cutting—are on exhibit through April 8th.

¡Loteria! is a wondrous show of color, shapes, whimsy, solemnity, humor, and detail. We could break the bank snapping up all the pieces that enticed us (and, luckily, Cactus Gallery owner Sandra Mastroianni is open to installment plans).

 

“For the sun and the rain.”

El Paraguas #5, mixed media, by Valency Genis

El Paraguas #5, mixed media, by Valency Genis

 

“Growing it reached the heavens, and since it wasn’t a violin, it had to be…”

El Violoncello #18, oil on panel, 11" x 14" by Lacey Bryant

El Violoncello #18, oil on panel, 11″ x 14″ by Lacey Bryant

 

¡Loteria!
Cactus Gallery
Through April 8th
3001 N. Coolidge Avenue 90039
Hours: Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Or by appointment
CactusGallery.blogspot.com

 

La Sandia #28, oil on birch paper, 18" x 24", by Sarah Stone

La Sandia #28, oil on birch paper, 18″ x 24″, by Sarah Stone

 

PatriciaKrebs-LaNegrita

La Negrita #26, mixed media on paper, 10″ x 14″, by Patricia Krebs

 

La Escalera #7, mixed media on wood, 12" x 12", by Jon Measures

La Escalera #7, mixed media on wood, 12″ x 12″, by Jon Measures

 

El Cazo #36 (Estoy Vacio Sin Ti), mixed media on wood, 11" x 14", by Andie Bogdan

El Cazo #36 (Estoy Vacio Sin Ti), mixed media on wood, 11″ x 14″, by Andie Bogdan

 

La Estrella #35, paper mache and acrylics, 9" x 6", by Ulla Anobile

La Estrella #35, paper mache and acrylics, 9″ x 6″, by Ulla Anobile

 

La Rana #54 (Mr. Lily), gouache on paper, 8" x 11", by Nichol Norman

La Rana #54 (Mr. Lily), gouache on paper, 8″ x 11″, by Nichol Norman

 

Image, top right: El Cotorro #24 (partial), mixed media on wood, 9″ x 12″, by Joshua Coffy.

All images courtesy of Cactus Gallery.

 ~~~

 

¹ Festivalofmexico.com/loterias

Riddles and Loteria background: Wikipedia.org/wiki/Loteria

Additional information: Festivalofmexico.com/loterias




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