Fiore DCC_MARIA VICTORIA PR, 2017-20018 Painted during the passing of Hurricane María, as a symbol of faith and strength for the Victory and recovery of our people of PR. “this vision came to my mind so powerful, I felt a strong urge to draw right away, we were all so helpless during the hurricane passing, it was a cry for help and prayer altogether, precisely in solidarity for our people in dispair and uncommunicated. We needed help, our PR needed help so desperately. It was the best I could do to send a strong message of hope and faith at that moment.” Fiore began her drawings for that iconic image that came to her mind while the passing of this tremendous wind power hurricane, great force and not even close to the previous ones several centuries ago.
As soon as the winds cease, she took the largest size wood panel to cover the pool area from the house surroundings and grab the largest fabric that she could access, then to prime ..to begin the goal was to compose this figure of a woman in monumental size, as the classics representation for heroes and goddesses, dressed in chiffon and the flag of PR over her chest, star closed to the heart.
The painting originated in the passing of Hurricane María over the island of PR in the Caribbean. “Since 1898 the island has not received such a powerful impact. Even though my generation has been witness to other catastrophes, never as threatening as what we saw upon us. The intense continuous noise was so powerful, it provoked fear in many of us, were at the mercy of the elements. Hope and pray was all we could do. Many of the island citizens on the coast or in the mountains had not secure homes to be protected. The result was devastating, vast population destroyed. I find myself witnessing and in the presence of all. We were disconnected from friends and family, power lines destroyed, floods and no water enough resources“.
The inspiration come from the Victory of Samotracia, for that she wears the chiffon dress of the Hellenistic figure that is the first glance as one enters the Museè the Louvre. In this piece, the Flag of Puerto Rico dresses her, the star in her chest, Connections references from France to NY and PR. Her raised arm also relates us to the Triumph of France, by Delacroix. The reference for the pose Not only the idea from Victory, as well of the Statue of Liberty, for all the immigrants from the island that identify themselves with the iconic figure. Again her bare feet and the hair blown by the wind taken by the elements, evoque the misery and the despair of the people, that of the characters portrayed for Victor Hugo, Les Misérables. “I need to create this iconic figure for our people , that were many in despair, endless time passing without basic goods, and amazingly our people, our residents, were so strong and in act of Faith and trust, their were gathering themselves and doing all to overcome the calamity and catastrophe. And in heroic good attitude showing such humility and grace, so characteristic of our fellow portorricans. For that this figure came to my mind . “I wanted her to be strong and powerful, like a Renaissance Madonna, a woman and a Mother, to keep bringing Hope and strenght to our people of PR for ever.”
“There in the waiting for the events I had to do something more. The image came to mind, I had to get into action and gather myself to do the preparatory sketches. Grab one of the largest panels used for storm guards and some fabric roll I had and charcoal. So I knew not to have enough gesso, nor all materials at the moment, but I just had to begin the project. I have been working with several standing poses of Victory for years. So I had to begin and pose myself needed to be a monumental size figure, 7-8’ tall.
“Not the original idea to refer to my own face, Though confronted so much difficulty to achieve the connection of her eyes with the viewer to transmit the correct message, I found myself forced to change her face and her eyes to mine., since it was so impossible to get accross my emotions then, otherwise“
A strong female figure standing tall asking for help, in attitude of prayer asking for Mercy from Above, in trust hoping. One arm raised pointing at the sky, the other extended arm open to receive. Her glance stares directly at the viewer, holding on her emotions and struggle to embrace the Victory and recovery of our people of PR, as a symbol of Faith and strength.