The Artling Logo

US$ 120


Material: Other

Suitable for Outdoor Use

Dimensions: 7cm (H) x 13cm (W) / 2.8" (H) x 5.1" (W)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.


This item ships from Mexico

Please note that this item requires crating for shipment

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Artist Statement

Tzinacan is the Nahuatl word for bat, and it is our gift for the bats represented in many ceramic pre-hispanic pieces.

Handmade in Oaxaca, a state rich in pre-hispanic pottery tradition, the Barro Negro (black clay) style has a tactile finish with a subtle shine. The workshop takes the natural clay and cleans it by filtering it for 20 days. The clay is then smoked to create the black colour and burnished rather than glazed, by polishing the surface with a quartz crystal until it has a glossy finish with a warm glow. The pieces are then fired in underground pits or kilns, using a wood fire.
Bats have been part of the mythology of the cultures of pre-Hispanic Mexico as one of the most notable deities; there is evidence that they were of great importance due to the abundance of representations of these animals in ceramic urns, sculptures, paintings, stelae and ancient codices.

The image of the bat symbolized very different aspects in each culture. For the Aztecs it represented darkness, earth and death, although in the codices it is also associated with the cult of corn and fertility.

When the Spanish arrived in Mesoamerica and the Conquest was consolidated, new customs were imposed and, with that, the figure of the bat was no longer venerated and respected. Instead, it acquired a reputation for sinister and disgusting. This change was greatly influenced by a myth of vampires, beings that came out of their graves at night and fed on the blood of the living. In the folklore of medieval Europe, the bat was usually related to the actions of the nocturnal geniuses of evil, and the art of the time, full of superstitions, had been responsible for mythologizing the image of the bat. It is not difficult to imagine that in 1527, when the first Spanish conquerors arrived on the coasts of Yucatan and the attacks of vampire bats on men and horses became evident, the myth of the vampire would find its real counterpart, increasing fear and suspicion towards these friendly animals.


Artist Profile

Born: 1989
Hometown: Guadalajara
Based in: London

Death Has Permission * is a brand / studio of Omar Ortiz Franco founded in 2018.
Originally from Guadalajara, an architect by profession, he lives between London and Guadalajara, these contexts create questions in him about identity, the Mexican and the global, his relationship and his individuality.
The brand is his expression …


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