During routine archeological excavations in Palenque, Mexico, in 1994, workers found a pre-Columbian tomb and, within, the mummified remains of a woman. The coffin was carved from a single slab of limestone, embellished with jewels, gold and jade. Her remains were accompanied by masks, necklaces, earrings and bracelets and—like the area around the tomb—covered blanketed in cinnabar, a rich red pigment. The Red Queen, who dates from ca. 600 A.D., is one of the most important Mayan discoveries in decades.
Captivated by the first photos he saw of The Red Queen, Ricardo Mazal, an accomplished abstract painter, was fascinated by the deep red cinnabar that cloaked the Red Queen in her tomb. He traveled to Palenque in 2002 to do in-depth research and to photograph the site and its surrounding jungle environs. Struck by similarities these digital images had to the forms in his previous paintings and drawings, Mazal began to digitally transform the photographs to bring them closer to abstraction, eventually translating these images into abstract paintings.
The Tomb of the Red Queen: Ricardo Mazal includes photographs, monotype studies, finished paintings and a video documenting his processes.
Scotsdale Museum of Comtemporay Art. Web Site