Life is a Dream, Then You Wake Up

Life is a Dream, Then You Wake Up
Enrique Chagoya, 1995
color monotype on handmade Amate bark paper, 108.2 x 118.4 cm
(42 5/8 x 46 5/8 in.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, C. W. Tazewell and Mr. and Mrs. G. Mennan Williams

Chagoya Biography

Enrique Chagoya's interest in sequential imagery led him to print one image on top of another, letting early impressions show through as pentimenti. In Life Is a Dream, Then You Wake Up, the artist used multiple layers of imagery to express the borders of the physical and the spiritual, life and death, consciousness and unconsciousness, as well as the various cultures with which he personally identifies. The winking, open, and closed eyes and the shifting positions of the facial features suggest a cinematic sequence that telescopes the passage of time in a single image.

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