Untitled (King of Hearts - Utopia)

Usen Gandara2019

Self Help Graphics & Art

Self Help Graphics & Art
Los Angeles, United States

As a response to those who would try to erase our history, take our dignity, I present Untitled (King of Hearts - Utopia) as an act of reverse colonialism and Chicano Futurism inspired by the murals of East L.A. and Boyle Heights I grew up with. This is the story of a king usurped by the ancient Mayan deity Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent who brings a song of love and celebration of culture via lyrics in Spanish. With love for all, aligned with nature not against it, we will survive and thrive. The golden epitaph marks the demise of the king, reading in Latin and flanked by the rulers of the Aztec underworld Mictlantecuhtli and Mictlancihuatl "Behold the King of Hearts is dead" This print was made with a hand-painted woodcut for the color background and a detailed linocut on top. Each paper tablet was made as an offering to the sun using recycled material, primarily junk mail mixed with Bougainvillea (native to South America, celebrating new life) and Italian Cypress (associated with mourning, death and the underworld) detritus. The Italian cypress trees in the image sand as the entryway into a dream of utopia.


  • Title: Untitled (King of Hearts - Utopia)
  • Creator: Usen Gandara
  • Date Created: 2019
  • Physical Dimensions: 11 x 15 in.
  • Medium: Mixed Media

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