Judith pokes an eye out

09 Jun

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

The term is from Ancient Rome, at which time the everything else was allowed in wrestling matches except one rule:  “No eye gouging.”  Thus the only way to be disqualified was to poke someone’s eye out.

In this case, it looks like Judith’s fun and games are over – although technically you can only poke someone’s eye in.  Unless you can reach inside the mouth and up the sinuses to poke the eye out.  But that is a different gory tale.

Judith () Federico Cantú

Federico Cantú, “Judith and Holofernes (Self Portrait as Holofernes),” CYDT Museum Coleccion Cantu Y de Teresa, Mexico City, Mexico

Frederico Cantú was a Mexican mural painter, sculptor, engraver and artist who was influenced by the works of Picasso and considered one of the most important artists in Mexico for his emblematic works such as the image of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). His work spans from 1924 to 1988, mostly spent in self-imposed exile in which he lived, studied, taught, and worked in Los Angeles and New York.

Given his physical appearance in this self-portrait, this is likely a later work of Cantú – probably late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  This work is done in reds and depicts Cantú in the forefront wearing a monogrammed shirt with a hyper-muscular Judith standing on his shoulder – with what appears to be his own head in her left hand.  Judith’s own head is outside the frame of the composition, making it impossible to identify if she is wife or mother or lover or just a nameless perpetrator.

And it makes me curious about his other shoulder.


Federico Cantú, “Monogram,” 1948

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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Gory


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