My Modest Opinion

My Modest Opinion


Angel Ricardo Ríos

Installation, 32 photographs artistically intervened on paper/ papier mache “piñatas”/doc. Video
24 x 18 in.

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“Yuma” is a construction, fiction created from our prejudices, longings, phantasies and deprivation. It’s consumer society utopia, paradise where all whims are realized, apparently effortlessly; childish idea contaminated by a paternal view.   

He was the ferocious enemy for many years in Cuba, “responsible for nearly all our misfortunes”. Still today this discourse is valid. But the most popular approach always was and still is a synonym of comfort, excellence and of everything one wants…or aspires to own and amass. 

My experience of life and work in Mexico made my vision of “el Yuma” more complex, and this piece has to do more with the process of deconstruction of certain symbols existing at an unconscious level in Mexican popular culture than with Cuban traditions.  

Ancestral Mexican piñatas are no longer made of mud, partly abstract, nor their sweets are natural or home-made dishes. Now they’re made in papier mache, in imitation to the traditional Disney heroes, and are filled with industrial candies. The craft production of these models results in he-or-she dolls with aesthetic codes resembling Latin American kitsch which is very far from the “beauty” values extolled by the mega industry of animated production.   

It so happens that the appropriation of the children’s American icon unintentionally turns it into a ridiculous and ugly caricature. Furthermore, it is euphorically hit until destroyed, -in this respect following the tradition indeed- in some sort of mob lynching. It’s as if, by means of this action, the historical relationship of hate and love that many Latinamerican peoples experience towards the US was perpetuated.    

My Modest Opinion intends to represent the whole process. The video of Mickey and his girlfriend’s piñatas records the moment of a certain violence and group justice; but above all, the printed image of both – maybe by Warhol, appropriates the first deconstruction of the hero and reinforces its deformity, always through the subversion of the graffiti language.