Cepp Selgas / Virgin of Cobre with Three Marielitos / Oil on wood / 15X31in. / 1987 / Detail.
Our Lady of Charity is the most important of all other Cuban religious icons. This well known image stands on a thin half moon, behind her is a stormy background. This is represented in many other images of the Virgin Mary, but in this one however she is perpetually there protecting us Cubans from the danger we face when venturing out to sea, as depicted by the little boat with three fortunate fishermen at her feet. This comforting icon has always given us the necessary strength when we decide to risk our lives going north in such toy-like artifacts.
I was trying to bring that point across when I used a toy boat in my assemblage titled "Virgin of Cobre with Three Marielitos". I added a photo-collage of images of fellow Cuban artists Ernesto Briel, Juan Boza with my own, to show that such an "act of faith" was still at large.
In mid 1987 my mother was very sick, but as a Marielito I was barred from going to Cuba. I made this piece as a spiritual connection with her. This image was the only talisman I trusted.
Full image of the piece.