Friday, July 27, 2012

Don't Mess With Zuni Girls

July 26, 2012

   Whipped out another scratchboard this morning of Esteban, the former slave who was such a big hit with the In-din women of the Southwest (this was the Swinging 1500s) until he got out ahead of himself and hit on some Zuni girls and the Zuni men hit back, killing him. Esteban was part of the Marcos de Niza expedition of 1539. I'm dong this for a new True West Moment that will run in the Arizona Republic.

 I wanted to illustrate Esteban with some accuracy in terms of dress. So for that I referenced the master Spanish painter Diego Velazquez who was painting not long after Esteban's demise and since both are from Spain, I thought the clothing styles might be applicable (although I have to admit the stretch from 1539 to 1609 is possibly similar to the difference between the styles of 1939 and 2009). Still, I thought it was a better reference than twentieth century artistic interpretations. Anyway, that led me to "Juan de Pareja" a Valasquez painting of the artist's mulatto servant and friend.

Love the afro and the white collar as a contrast to the dark, skin tones. Another Velasquez shows a Spanish dude in a wide hat, so I borrowed that as well and gave it to our Southwestern Lothario.

And I realize the facial tattoo is more Mojave than Zuni, but I wanted to give her a little attitude, or menace ("Hey, you shouldn't be messing with those girls, ese.")

Speaking of The Conquest Of Women. . .

For what it's worth, I just read that Mick Jagger has allegedly bedded 4,000 women and counting. Among his conquests, Farrah Fawcett, Angelina Jolie and Ruth Buzzi. At one point I thought I would give him a run for his money but I kind of stalled out at a baker's dozen.

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings."

—Samuel Johnson