Raúl Piña (1961 - )

Doble eclipse de luna (1998)
Double Eclipse of the Moon

Oil on canvas
height: 220cm
width: 240cm

Donated by Raúl Piña 1998


The jaguar, which dominates this painting, is central to Toltec beliefs and iconography and is transformed by Piña into the 'Jaguar Man', a character the artist has invented to symbolise the heart and the connectedness between the people of Mexico and their environment. The 'Jaguar Man' lies in contrast to another recurrent figure: the 'Rabbit Man'. Representing the head, he stands for materialism, born of modern Western Europe and of the USA. In this painting the 'Rabbit Man' appears in the jaguar's moon-like eyes. This may be a reference to the indigenous Mexican belief that one can see the shape of a rabbit in the full moon. This in turn derives from the Aztec creation myth, which tells how the gods at Teotihuacán, the sacred site worshipped by the Toltecs and the Aztecs, dulled the overwhelming light of the sun by throwing a rabbit at it, thereby creating the moon.

(Display caption from the exhibition Mexican Migrations, 2013)

Joanne Harwood, 2008

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