Our Lady of Guadalupe: Sketches from Mexico

Carrie Haddad Gallery
Apr 1, 2020 1:22AM

For the past three decades, a continued goal at Carrie Haddad Gallery has been to celebrate the influence that the local landscape, culture, mindset and creative energy has on the regional visual arts scene. Yet like the valley itself and for many of our represented artists, travel and foreign cultures play a significant role as well in shaping the aesthetics and messaging that pulses through their work.

Guadalupe (Study #1), 2020, foam core, 9 - 13"

Japanese mixed media artist, Dai Ban, who currently lives in the neighboring Berkshires, recently returned from Mexico in early March after spending several weeks traveling with his wife. What resulted from this trek was a slew of sketches he made while inspired by the history of the places he visited.


At day break on September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo, a Roman Catholic priest, led the first of several uprisings that would ultimately lead to Mexico's independence from Spanish Rule in 1821. The first flag of the independence movement - a banner displaying the dark-skinned likeness of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe - remains an emblem of the Mexican people today.

Presented here are variations on a design Ban deems "Guadalupe". These pieces are studies made of foam core, ranging in size from 9" - 13". We are currently accepting requests for commissions based on this new design. Sizes are all customizable and materials include precision board, acrylic and Venetian plaster.

From the artist's sketchbook

From the artist's sketchboo

Guadalupe (Study #2), 2020, foam core, 9"-13", (sizes customizable)

Guadalupe (Study #5), 2020, foam core, 9"- 13" (sizes customizable)

Guadalupe (Study #3), 2020, foam core, 9"-13", (sizes customizable, prices upon request)

Guadalupe (Study #10), 2020, foam core, 9"-13", (sizes customizable, prices upon request)

Guadalupe (Study #7), 2020, foam core, 9" - 13" (sizes customizable, prices upon request)

Guadalupe (Study #4), 2020, foam core, 9"-13" (sizes customizable, prices upon request)

This following design, entitled Kill The Blind Bull, laments the 500 year old barbaric tradition of bullfighting that remains a legal and popular sport in Mexico. Brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadores, the sport involves bulls being maimed and eventually ceremoniously slaughtered for the entertainment of the audience. The largest bullfighting arena is located in Mexico City.

Kill the Blind Bull (study), 2020, foam core, approx. 9-13"

I am not sure if I expect people to see my work in any special way. I certainly don't want to impose my ideas. Still, when I feel my sculpture is right, I’m hoping the viewer will too, and this will allow their first impressions to subside and pre-conceived notions to fall away. Then, perhaps, a deep unconscious process will unfold in response. Each piece, itself a record of a conversation, hopefully will call the viewer into his or her own dialogue with it, where meaning is created in the moment. - Dai Ban, 2017

Born in Japan, Dai Ban studied fine art and sculpture in Tokyo at Musashino Art University. He came to the United States in 1985, and moved from New York City to the Berkshires in 1993. He has been exhibiting with Carrie Haddad Gallery since 2005.

Dai Ban and commissioned outdoor sculpture

Carrie Haddad Gallery