Cofradía de Sololá
(Cofradía Officials in the town of Sololá)
18" x 24", oil on canvas

Lorenzo Gonzalez Chavajay

Lorenzo could not seem to manage the profile of the faces, which were turned slightly at an angle from straight on, but he nevertheless created a strong visual impact with the patterns and colors of the traje. The three individuals wear traje indicative of the cofradias of the town of Sololá. Even in their uniformity Lorenzo takes the time to depict the individual differences of each man’s traje. This makes the painting interesting. Each man’s traje consists of six pieces: a hat with a band, a tz’ute [head cloth], a grey wool jacket, a shirt (visible only at the collar), a black and white wool serape, and a pair of pants. The three tz’utes visually work together in the painting, as do the three serapes, three jackets and three sets of pants. Yet each item (with the exception of the jackets) of the set of three differs from the others while being the same. The pants on the left are the most different—black stripes with white icat dashes go between an orange stripe with bordering red stipes. The other two pairs of pants have orange stripes with black dashes alternating with a brown stripe in one and a red-brown stripe in the other. The width of the stripe and size of the dashes vary in the different pants.

The visual organization of the painting is strikingly forceful and modern in its simplicity. The use of pattern is entirely Lorenzo, an interesting interplay of dots and stripes, often at the same time. The dots and stripes give the painting a richness that Lorenzo’s flat colors would not do alone. Lornzo creates his own aesthetic jarringly backing highly patterned areas with empty flat colors. At first I didn’t like it, the backgrounds looked too empty compared to the people, but soon I got used to Lorenzo’s way of painting, and his paintings now give me the most joy of any of the painters.