Caravaggio and the Mexican Drug Cartels



"Balacera en Reynosa" by Rigoberto A. Gonzalez

The paintings of Mexican artist Rigoberto A. Gonzalez capture the violence and suffering that surround the drug trade in the border region between Mexico and the United States.

There is a twist, however, unexpected in many ways.

His work, dramatic and startling, is set in the style of Caravaggio, the notorious Baroque painter known for his own violent depictions and a distinct use of tenebroso, which draws a sharp contrast between light and dark.

Gonzalez explains:

In my paintings I appropriate and connect the depiction of violence by Caravaggist, Neapolitan painters with the portrayal of violence in corridos. A corrido is a Mexican folk ballad in the past singers would document events in their communities or the lives of heroes from the Mexican revolution but recently they have focused on the lives of drug smugglers. Essentially a corrido tells a story, it is a narrative. There is usually a violent theme to a corrido; However, I am not interested in a journalistic version of violence. Corridos like Caravaggist paintings are not prose but verse.


Learn more: Rigoberto A. Gonzalez Website

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