Impressions of Aztec Deities

This series, done in Mexico in 2000, are all mixed media pieces, size 12″ x 9″ paper size, and 9 ½” x 7″ image size. All are done on Stonehenge paper, mounted on wood, with a gesso ground on the wood; the paper is adhered to the wood with an-acid free glue. They are vertical images, and the titles of the Aztec Deities were uncovered in a text on the gods. From these eleven (11) Deities, Salazar developed the 2002 series. These are large figurative explorations of the same gods named and shown below.

“Religion was extremely important in Aztec life. They worshipped hundreds of gods and goddesses, each of whom ruled one or more human activities or aspects of nature. The people had many agricultural gods because their culture was based heavily on farming; also they included natural elements and ancestor-heroes.

“They believed that the balance of the natural world, the processes that make life possible–like the rain or solar energy–and that the destiny of people depended on the will of these gods. While some deities were benevolent, others had terrifying characteristics.

“The Aztecs thought that the power of the gods should be acknowledged and thanks given to them, so as to avoid the catastrophes that their rage or indifference could cause. For this reason, the monumental ceremonial centers were built and there were so many religious rites. The existence of the gods and their goodwill were maintained by offering up the most valuable human possession, life. This then, was the origin of human sacrifice and the ritual of bearing intense physical pain, which believers intentionally caused themselves.”