These pieces reflect how two cultures were merged to create new ways of expression. The Zapotec culture was part of a civilization that was considered one the most advanced in Mesoamerica when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s. Spiritual ceremonies, agriculture, architecture, mathematics, writing system, calendar and arts were part of a way of life that had been perfected for thousands of years.
The Spanish brought with them their worldview of politics, religion, languages, arts, culture and belief systems. A syncretism developed when these two worlds started to coexist. In the arts, a particular style of weaving known as the Saltillo Sarape began to develop, and was enriched by the master indigenous weavers of Mexico, who in many cases were slaves.
This style of weaving became part of Porfirio’s cultural identity and remains part of his personal expression today. This body of work pays homage to the slaves who were the master weavers that added their unique artistic sensibility to the prestigious Mexican wearing blankets — one of the most remarkable weaving traditions in the history of the New World.
“Journey of the Butterfly”