Natalia Giraldo, Trento 53

  • A sculpture of the virgin mary made of salt by Medellin Artist natalia giraldo
  • Salt is a very smart medium for this sculpture of Lot's wife and Mary
  • Natalia Giraldo's Mary

Ran into an incredible piece from Colombian born artist Natalia Giraldo at the Museo de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. I liked it so much, I had to research it as soon as I got home.

The sculpture, made of salt, sat alone in a room. It depicts the ruins of two female figures; the Virgin Mary, and Edith.

It was quite appropriate that I was seeing this sculpture just a few days after the celebration of the Dia de Las Velitas. The day celebrates Mary's immaculate conception. This is the probably the most important aspect of Catholic lore. Without Mary as the vessel for Christ's birth, there could be no Christianity. Mary is also the female ideal of Colombian (and some may say even Latin American) culture. As little girls, we (as I am a Latin woman and experienced this first hand) are all raised to be pure, humble, and obedient.

Salt is a very smart medium for this sculpture of Lot's wife and Mary

Sculpture of Mary made of Salt by Colombian Artist Natalia Giraldo

Edith, on the other hand represents the blind faith that is needed to believe in the religion. This is something else that is ingrained in the children of Catholic families in Colombia. Story says she was the wife of Lot who had been kind to two angels who came to their city, Sodom. Because of this kindness, the angels told Lot to take his family and flee the disaster that would befall the city, but gave them one rule...don't look back. Edith looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. The moral of the story here is to have blind faith and follow the rules of the church, else come to tragedy.

Giraldo's choice of medium, salt is pretty self explanatory. It gives context to a figure that has been reduced to merely a face and two feet. It also refers back to salt's history (check out Mark Kurlansky's book if you want to learn more - great book.) Salt was quite valuable. It was used as currency. In Jewish culture, it also signified loyalty, purity, and commitment.

Natalia Giraldo's Mary

Mary's head is detached from her body in this sculpture by Medellin Woman artist Natalia Giraldo

The figures are life size, making them relatable to the viewer. As a woman, I had to stop and see what happened. Why were these women destroyed, why were they in pieces. It was incredibly powerful.

Giraldo has some pictures of her work on her Facebook account, although I was unable to find a website for her. If/when I do, I'll update here. In the mean time, if you happen to be in Medellin, go check her out.

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Blanca Valbuena

I am the co-founder of FriendsEat and Socialdraft. I've got an unhealthy obsession with Burgundian Chardonnay, ASOIAF, and travel.

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4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Natalia Giraldo, Trento 53”

  • Leu

    January 13, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Fascinating! 🙂

    • blancavalbuena

      January 14, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      There is some amazing art here. I just went to the Museum of Modern Art in Cartagena. Small, but serious collection. I’m so happy to be able to discover these artists 😀

  • Natalia Giraldo Giraldo

    August 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Hola, gracias por la reseña!

    • Blanca Valbuena

      August 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Gracias por el comment Natalia. Me gusto mucho la obra y todos los significados que pueden ser encontrados. Vuelvo a Medellin al fin del año, me facinaria que nos tomaramos un vino o una tazita de cafe.

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