3'x5.5' Wood Panel
Reclaimed wood frame
4,914 Chiclets (Gum)
An evolution of my "Chingo de Chiclet" series at a grander scale, Dulce Madre pays homage to La Virgen de Guadalupe, one of Mexico's most beloved Catholic and cultural icons.
I embarked on a multi-week creative journey after years of contemplation of this epic piece. After considering scale and medium, I designed La Virgencita in Adobe Illustrator, playing with color and composition, iterating various times along the way. Since store-bought chiclets only come in 5 colors, I spent a week preparing the almost 5,000 chiclets and spray painting them to create the 11-color palette I needed to pull this off.
Over the next 2-weeks, I laid out each chiclet carefully selected by shape and size and adhering each one to the wood canvas with hot glue. I also sealed the finish piece with a UV-coating to protect from the ants and the elements.
Finally, inspired by the giant frames with religious imagery I've seen all my life at flea markets, I built a custom frame from reclaimed fence wood to elevate the final product.
Dulce Madre arrived at St. Mary Parish in Gilroy, CA on December 10, 2022 just in time for the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This Catholic celebration commemorates the anniversary of her apparition to Juan Diego in Tepeyac on December 12, 1531.
Dulce Madre is available for viewing at St. Mary Parish in Gilroy, CA through the New Years festivities and early 2023.