Ivana de Vivanco


Santiago’s Slip




Peru and Chile


220 x 190 cm


Oil on canvas

Credits: Courtesy of the artist

In Santiago’s Slip, by Ivana de Vivanco, we witness the precise moment in which the Catholic saint Santiago Matamoros or Mataindios (Moor killer or Indian killer) falls from his horse. The painting shows the horse setting one of its hind legs on a banana peel and reacting by raising its front legs and knocking its rider down. In the lower right corner of the painting appears a nude female figure confronting the viewer with her gaze as she eats the banana whose peel, we presume, was the cause of Matamoros’ fall. Santiago’s Slip is part of a series of paintings created by De Vivanco on the figure of Matamoros, a Catholic apostle, whose image is “one of the bloodiest” as stated by the artist. He is a militarized saint, a symbol of the rejection of the Other. In this piece, Santiago symbolizes the fall of hegemonic power, be it religious or neocolonial, while the banana is used as an element of vengeance, giving the fruit a symbolic twist and agency to the racialized woman looking back at us.