The Jaguar is venerated throughout Latin American traditions, particularly in pre-Columbian myths and legends. This piece depicts the myth of the Jaguar Shaman, who had the ability to change into the form of a jaguar. He wears a pre-Columbian jade were-jaguar pendant from Costa Rica. The were-jaguar (half man, half jaguar) is one of the iconic motifs of pre-Columbian civilizations.
This painting is, in many ways, a realistic interpretation of pre-Columbian art. Animals found in pre-Columbian art are brought to life. The jaguar poses like the pendant he wears around his neck. Jade is a central component of this painting, as it was a central component of pre-Columbian civilization.
I painted this piece hoping to capture the alluring majesty of Costa Rica’s abundant natural beauty while also paying homage to the rich traditions of its original inhabitants.