Margarita Azurdia


Las cargadoras del plátano amarillo (The Yellow Banana Loaders)






123 × 100 × 29 cm


Polychrome wood, rope and fabric

Credits: Milagro de Amor, S.A

A white table with black dots and blue and green legs. On it, a row of sculptures of naked women carrying giant bananas. The women wear jaguar masks and yellow boots. While their bodies are completely white, all the items worn by the women are yellow with black dots, imitating the pattern of a ripe banana. This is a description of Las cargadoras del plátano amarillo, a sculpture that is part of a larger series entitled Homenaje a Guatemala made by Margarita Azurdia between 1971 and 1974. The series is a response and homage, as the title of the piece indicates, to her native Guatemala. From preliminary drawings, Azurdia commissioned the sculptures to a group of artisans from the city of Antigua. Subsequently, the artist intervened the sculptures with different patterns, colors, and accessories. The sculptures refer to the vernacular and syncretic culture of Guatemala. On the one hand, they resemble religious altars, but on the other, they refer to indigenous practices. In Las cargadoras del plátano Amarillo, Azurdía empowers a group of women, who appear as goddesses or heroines while carrying one of the most emblematic fruits of the region. The banana, as is well known, became a symbol of the complex relationship between Guatemala and the United Fruit Company and, in this piece, the artist invites the viewer to rethink that relationship to create a new narrative.