Tag Archives: Mexican

Judith studies anatomy

She is small – but mighty.  And she is somewhere out there.  I just don’t know where.

UNEONE since 1993 holofernes and judith

Fidel Ordonez (Uneone) (1974 – ), “Judith and Holofernes”

I present the street art of Uneone, an artist born in Mexico City and based in Calgary.  His artwork has been displayed in galleries, contemporary spaces, wall buildings magazines and books since 2003 throughout Mexico, Europe and States.  In his website, he states the focus of his work is the relationship between disorder, pattern and texture – most recently “human figurative monsters inspired by the eighteenth century by diferent artists who ilustrated the Dante Alighieri’s Inferno (Divine Comedy) he enjoys the interplay of lines details and texture and strives to create a visual reaction within each piece.”

My thoughts on this piece are circumscribed by the limited context and actual borders.  I am not sure I am seeing the entire artwork.  But with that qualification, it is still obvious that this is a monumental struggle in which Holofernes represents the monster with his sharp, grotesque angles – although Judith appears rather harsh as well.  Especially with her orbital socket that looks like it is fractured, probably in the knock-down-drag-out fight with her intended victim.

Yet there is much else to be gleaned from this depiction, from which –

  • I learned a lot about the muscles and tendons of the neck and shoulders.


  • I learned a little about the pros and cons of buttock augmentation

butt aug

  • I have concerns about the lethal nature of Holofernes’ phallus


  • I approve of Judith’s Grace Kelly hairstyle



Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Gory


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Judith never lets them see her sweat

Of all the depictions of Judith that I have unearthed, this has to be the most grotesque. And disturbing. Once you get past the angels, that is.

Judith (1810) Jose Maria Vasques

Jose Maria Vázquez, “Judith beheading Holofernes ,” 1810, oil on copper, 55 x 41.5 cm, auctioned by Christie’s, New York, January 28, 2009 (Lot# 225)

The scene:   storm clouds gathering in the background as the maid anxiously watches the Assyrian soldiers milling around the camp.  Four winging cherubs hover above the action – holding back the heavy green curtains of the tent.  Holofernes lies naked on the bad (except for a strategically placed sheet) with his arms thrown back in agony as Judith calmly stands looking down at him … WITH THE FAUCHION HALFWAY THROUGH HIS NECK!!!

She doesn’t seem the least bit repulsed, as did Caravaggio’s Judith.

She doesn’t seem to be struggling, as did Gentileschi’s Judith.

Rather, the only emotion she appears to convey is “concentration” – as if to be thinking “Hmm, if I had hit him with the blade a little to the left, maybe this wouldn’t be so hard.  The cut isn’t going to be as smooth as I had hoped, but I can make up for that after we get the head back to Bethulia.”  No concern about mussing her dress or her sandals.  No exertion or repugnance.  You might suspect that she does this everyday.

At least i hope she changes her dress.

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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Gory


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Judith pokes an eye out

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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Judith takes the Crown

Now for the Winner of the Best Avenging Female of the 17th CenturyJudith of Bethulia!

Cristóbal de Villalpando, “Judith,” Oil on canvas, 83.8 x 56 cm, auctioned by Sotheby’s, Nov19, 2003 (Lot 67)

Borrowing from Giorgione for her stance, Cristóbal de Villalpando depicted Judith in the decorative and luminous style of Baroque colonial Mexico – a two-dimensional equivalent to the Ultrabaroque architecture of buildings of the time.  What we would consider “over the top” Baroque – if that is even possible considering Baroque by definition is dramatic exaggeration, exuberance, and grandeur.  BIG fluffy clouds.  BRILLIANT shafts of light.  SOARING cliffs.  THREE FOOT feather and FOUR FOOT sword.  FIVE layers of clothing and to top it off, a CROWN.

So what is up with the feather?  Did she tickle Holofernes into submission?  Or is that a Baroque symbol of “nanny nanny boo boo”?

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Glory


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