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King Phillip IV & Queen Mariana On New York’s 72nd Street—Latest From Texas Liberal New York City Desk

(Blogger’s Note—This is the latest offering from Texas Liberal New York City correspondent Lyuba Halkyn.  Ms. Halkyn wrote the post and took the pictures. I added the links.)

Two large, bronze sculptures of female abstracts seemed to appear overnight in my neighborhood several weeks ago.  These sculptures fit right into the landscape at the entrance of the subway at 72nd Street.  This is the subway that I frequently use.  It is a wonderful convenience to have a subway stop right outside my front door.  Now to enhance my daily mass transit experience, a Spanish, contemporary artist, by the name of Manolo Valdés, will be displaying his work throughout the Upper West Side neighborhoods of Manhattan from May 20, 2010- January 23, 2011.

These sculptures that are at the south entrance of 72nd Street, are two out of six large ladies called Reina Mariana and depict Queen Mariana as immortalized by the artist Diego Velázquez. Velázquez was Spain’s greatest baroque artist in the 17th century.  He became King Phillip IV’s official painter.  One of his greatest masterpieces was Las Meninas painted in 1656.  This painting depicted the daughter of King Phillip IV and Queen Mariana.  If you are not familiar with this painting, it is most definitely worth checking out.

I was not familiar with the background of either of these artists but found myself digging deeper into the history of these sculptures and finding out more about its influences.  I also found the connection between a modern day artist/sculptor, Valdés, and a baroque, 17th century artist, Velázquez intriguing enough to mention.

Living in a vibrant city, such as New York, free art pops up everywhere.  It’s even better when it pops up right outside my front door.

June 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Values Voters Prevail In Spanish Election

Voters holding strong moral values have prevailed in recent Spanish elections. 

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Socialist party will again lead Spain.

Prime Minister Zapatero ran on his first-term record.

This record included legalizing gay marriage, making it easier to get a divorce, pulling Spanish troops out of Iraq and allocating a larger share of the Spanish budget to the needs of the poor.

The Spanish public followed the right course and returned Mr. Zapatero to office. 

Here is a story about the election.

Here is a profile of Prime Minister Zapatero.

Here are some facts about Spain.

March 11, 2008 Posted by | Elections | , , , , | Leave a comment

Passive But Stubborn Resistance Of Mexican Indians Shows Some Resistance Is Always Possible

The following is from Alan Taylor’s American Colonies: The Settling of North America. It is about the passive but meaningful resistance of subjugated people. It is about the response of Mexican Indians to Spanish domination in the 16th Century.

” To sustain a measure of psychological autonomy, Mexican Indians privately nurtured a mythic understanding of the Spanish conquest as cosmically insignificant and ephemeral: of no more enduring significance than the many previous cycles of rising and falling native powers. Having experienced the Aztecs, and the Toltecs before them, the natives of Mexico expected to outlive their Spanish masters.. From our own vantage point on the radical transformation of Indian lives under the onslaught of colonization, this native myth seems far from “true.” But the Indians preserved much of their cultural identity within that transformation, rendering the myth real in their thoughts.

Because of the internal nature of native resistance, the friars could achieve no more than a compromise in matter’s of faith and practice. They ultimately had to tolerate a vibrant religious syncretism in which the new Catholic forms absorbed native content. The cult of the Virgin assumed a special importance as it came to resemble the former celebration of the maternal spirits of the maize, the corn mothers.”      

I think this is useful in seeing how people today and always have responded when to outsiders a situation might seem hopeless. There is always some way to respond.   

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should Genocide Resolutions Be Considered For Nations That Exterminated Western Hemisphere Native Populations?

  

With the recent discussion about a Congressional resolution declaring Turkey guilty of the genocide of Armenians between 1915 and 1918, should parliaments and congresses across the world consider similar resolutions against nations responsible for the extermination of Native American populations in the Western Hemisphere?    

These nations would be Portugal, Spain, France, England and the United States.

Portugal for the widespread death and servitude brought to the Tupi people of Brazil.    

Spain for a trail of genocide extending through the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Mexico, Peru, Florida and present day New Mexico and Texas.

France for deaths of natives in Canada and throughout North American New France.

England for the liquidation of native peoples in, among other places, Virgina and New England.

The United States for a long history of wiping out native populations.  

I think such debate and resolutions around the world might only be fair.  

October 26, 2007 Posted by | Colonial America, History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments