My goal with this piece was to represent the hardships of the Puerto Rican people and how it relates to faith and religion. I wanted it to feel like an altar come to life before you in a surreal way. At the same time, this altar also is designed to look like a sidewalk memorial that you see often in the streets of San Juan, dedications from the people that live there to their lost loved ones.
To achieve this goal, I designed and conceptualized a piece with many symbolic references and details throughout. The flag, candles, flowers, the mural, and even the details of the halo all have meaning.
La Lucha translates to the fight. Maria has represented the struggle to survive in more ways than one while also being the symbol of our protection.
An altar dedicated to the Patron Saint of Puerto Rico, Our Lady of Providence. For centuries, we prayed for her protection from destruction and disaster. We pray that our culture may live on through the oppression that has been brought on the island. We pray that she may protect us from disaster.
When Catholicism and the Virgin Mary first came to our island, we lost parts of our native Taino culture. When Maria came to our island, we lost even more. It ignited a fire in the people of Puerto Rico to stand up against the centuries of mistreatment from the US government. The black and white flag of mourning soon became a symbol of resistance and resilience.
Puerto Rican mothers always tell you the only way to survive is to continue forward. Pa'lante.
Close up details of several elements of the piece. I created all these assets using a mix of C4D, Marvelous Designer, Substance Painter, Procreate, and Redshift.
The combination of all these tools allowed me to go from grey cubes to a fully rendered CG altar in less than 3 weeks.
I chose to go with a close to life size scale for my piece requiring a giant display to be mounted vertically. The content was rendered at 60 fps to further help convey it's surreal but lifelike nature.
The gallery space was wonderfully and thoughtfully put together by W+K. Surrounded by wonderful Latinx artists.
dmoreno.me [at] gmail.com