COPYRIGHT © by John McDonald. All rights reserved by the artist. Any and all publishing and reproduction rights are retained solely by the artist. This image is not to be re-distributed, copied, imitated or misappropriated without written consent of the artist.
Without depicts Mexico’s most-loved artist, the beautiful wife of Diego Rivera, in the traditional Mexican Tehuana costume and jewellery she loved to wear, gazing out: stunning and majestic.
The viewer is left to imagine the scene with just a few clues: light pouring onto the face; a hint of architecture, window or shadow, behind. John’s Mexican Heroine looks very much the beautiful revolutionary.
Without is a work about the power and beauty of the Mexican heroine: without pain, without disability, without Diego... It is a tribute and a call to each individual who faces and overcomes barriers in life.
The glowing pathos of Without continues John McDonald's Butterfly Cry series, being the fourth of thirteen portraits of his Mexican Heroine. He has a very literal empathy with the Mexican artist, and the body of work as a whole explores human themes of love and loss, suffering and strength, and passion for life.
As in many of John's paintings, there are often hidden symbols, or meanings in the work. Without is no exception. If you look closely you will see painted within the ear is a hand waving, and both earrings have a little hand-shaped clasp. This is a reference to deafness and use of sign language for communication.
An outsider artist whose practice is the key to survival and relationship, following 17 years of profound deafness, John’s work declares: