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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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Entries in Little Red Ridinghood (2)


Lil' Red Is the Theme...


My Little RED Valentines Day- For the Love of the Beast Within Me and His Long Unruly Fur...

Figure 10. Kiki Smith. Rapture Bronze ©Kiki Smith, Photo By: Richard-Max Tremblay/Courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York

For this year's valentine's day post, I want to share a passion that I have that has been ensconced within my work (see my illustrations) and thoughts for quite a while...our animal human divide, my animal instincts or how some academics prefer to call it our primitive brains.

my pendant by Poodlebreath
"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves
"- Mary Oliver

Actually for close to a decade now; I have seen the relinquishing of reason and justification in order to appease my deepest desires as a manifestation of my animal self. My ability or lack there of to reign in my instinctual desires to me is a reflection of seeing the beast (my true self) within me and allowing it to surface as a reflection of who I truly am. I also see our animal selves as the intercessor between the sacred nature of the environment and our regard for it.

My Wolf ring by Raven Designs
"...animals and humans respond physiologically to traumatic experiences and how our ‘animal body’ naturally responds to a threatening situation regardless of what our rational mind may think.
The nervous system’s response to danger is ‘hardwired’ in the reptilian (instinctual) and mammalian limbic (emotional) parts of our brain that we share with other animals. A threatened human or animal must discharge the adrenaline mobilized to negotiate danger, for example by shaking or trembling, or it will succumb to trauma as the residual energy persists in the body creating a variety of unpleasant symptoms.
While animals instinctively discharge this energy, humans are less adept at this and when confronted with a life threatening situation, our rational brains may become confused and override our instinctive impulses.

Levine(From Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine)... explaining that while our highly evolved neo-cortex (rational brain) cannot override the fight, flight or freeze response to danger, it allows an overcontrol which interferes with the instinctual responses generated by our older (evolutionarily) reptilian brain that are necessary for return to normal functioning..."

- Reclaiming our Animal Body Author: Tania Dolley

The Grimm fairytale that opens the window into this duality for me is Little Red Riding hood...

However, I see this tale as a preamble/ an introduction to a more interesting question, story and character, the girl who emerges saved from the belly of the wolf...that is who I am interested in.

In her 2002 study Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked, Catherine Orenstein claims that the tale “embodies complex and fundamental human concerns”

"[Red Riding Hood’s] tale speaks to enduring themes of family, morality, growing up, growing old, of lighting out into the world, and of the relationships between the sexes.
It brings together archetypal opposites, through which it explores the boundaries of culture, class, and especially, what it means to be a man or a woman.
The girl and the wolf inhabit a place, call it the forest or call it the human psyche, where the spectrum of human sagas converges and where their social and cultural meanings play out."

- From UNCLOAKED a Little Red Ridinghood study by Catherine Orenstein
recent lil red work by me, m.diaz detail of lil red by m.diaz ink on wood

As far as I am concerned at the very end of this fairytale is just when I think it starts. The end of the tale is where my wonderment and fondness begins. With my overactive imagination, to me there is no better topic for a Valentines day post than the misnomer of traditional Little Red Ridinghood interpretations and seeing perhaps the 'all-consuming' love between a hunter and his prey the wolf and the girl/ girl and a beast/ and the transformative power of that love since she emerges not unscathed from the belly of the wolf, but surely a force to be reckoned with as she is reborn in a sense from this consumption...

Little Red Ridinghood Brothers Grimm Illustrated by Daniel Egneùs

I bought the book above (- beautifully illustrated) and the t-shirt below and now so can you! BUY IT! But let's just agree to not wear it on the same day in the same place :))

Score this design: "RED," to help it get printed on Threadless!

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