Wednesday, April 17, 2019

New Art Prints By Ernesto Yerena

Ernesto Yerena is excited to announce the release of two new 18"x24" screen-print editions Spiritual Memory and Connect Below the Surface. These are both from editions of 200 and each print will go for $35 plus shipping. He does ship worldwide.

Buy them at

Spiritual Memory Artists Statement:
This piece is inspired by the memory of our indigenous roots and African roots that lives inside of my spirit. Growing up as a Mexican American kid I always remember seeing the Aloe Vera plant all around me, at my grandma’s house, my tia’s house, and at my house. I always knew there was something special to me about this plant and when I got a little I found out why. Turns out that when I was a 1 or 2 years old my father had a wisdom tooth removed and soon after the wound got infected. The infection grew into what I hear was close to a ping pong sized abscess so my grandmother took him to specialty doctors in San Diego. The doctors in San Diego told my grandmother that this infection was so septic that if they went into remove it and for some reason the infection got into the blood stream that I would go up to his brain and kill him so they decided to not operate and turn him away. He was told he would only have a couple months to live. My grandmother was pretty devastated so she talked to her mother aka my Great Grandmother aka my Mama China who was Yaqui. My Mama China told my grandmother to cut up some Aloe Vera and heat it up on the comal and put it on gauze. After 3 days of my grandmother doing this the abscess exploded on its own and it the infection didn’t get into his bloodstream. Aloe Vera saved my pops life, that is why I honor this plant today. When I was creating the concept for this piece I was really inspired by the resilience of indigenous medicine and culture. It was very empowering to know that even after 500 years of colonization we still a lot of aspects of our ancestral and traditional ways that are still alive and thriving and Aloe Vera to me was a perfect example of this. PLOT TWIST! This whole time since I was little kid I thought Aloe Vero or Savila as my mother calls it was a MEXICAN plant and that it has been a part of indigenous medicinal traditions on this land for thousands of years but after a quick google search a visit to the Aloe Vera Wiki page I learned that Aloe Vera came from AFRICA, I was mind blown!!! Now this meant that the resiliency of the use of this plant was even stronger since it had its way all the way from Africa to these lands and under some very dark circumstances (i.e. Slavery). In this image, the eagles represent the sprits of our indigenous ancestors and the aloe very represents the spirits of our African ancestors. This image honors the Resilience of Memory and celebrates the fact that even if someone tries to break your spirit for 500 plus years your spirit will always remember where to find medicine. -Ernesto

Connect Below the Surface Artists Statement:
I created this piece as a reminder to folks that we must always plug into what recharges us, fuels us and most importantly heals us. Living here in US on Stolen Land there are daily reminders of the violent colonial history that our ancestors, Mother Earth, and our animal relatives have had to endure on this land for centuries. What adds insult to injury is that the process of colonization is still pretty much ongoing and it is clear when we see indigenous children in cages, new border walls being constructed, the glutinous prison industrial complex, heavy policing in neighborhoods of color, etc. The list can go on forever. When we sit with that truth it is daunting, overwhelming and paralyzing. It’s sad to see that in many ways it seems like we (the indigenous people of these lands & empathetic peoples of all colors) are losing this battle. America rewards the cruel and the greedy and it people like myself who are sensitive and gentle feel like we are losing ground. These are tactics that colonizers have always imposed upon our people in order to break our spirits and our moral that way they can exploit us and the land. In dark times like these I like to remind people that this pain and these hard times are mostly on the surface, it’s what we see most of but in fact if we plug in to the land or to our history and legacy here on this continent as indigenous people we have thousands of years of strength, love & support from our ancestors and Mother Earth. That’s why I urge folks to Connect Beyond the Surface. Whatever that means to you is fine. For some folks, it may mean to break the mundane routine of the daily life and go out for a jog for others it might mean to hang around family. For me it might mean to cook a meal with traditional ingredients one day or go to get a massage another day. Whatever self-care means to you is what this piece is all about. In this image, the Nopal / Cactus is YOU! And the Nopal’s roots are connecting to Mother Earth and is sustaining and healing itself with all that nurturing wisdom, history, love & support. The eagles as always in my work represent the spirits of our ancestors. We are more than 500 years of colonization. We are a resilient people that will be survive because we have lots of ancestral support to pull from. Long live our ancestors! Long live Mother Earth! And long live our Resilience & Strengh!-Ernesto

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