I have been working on this matador jacket, Traje de Luces, for quite a while now. I hope to have it to the framers this week. It is made of twisted silver wire, silver plated wire, crystals, Filipino noodle bags, organza silk, red onion bags, as well as packaging graphics from Mexican rice bags, tortillas bags and cacahuetes Japones (Japanese Iso peanut snacks from Mexico). My family is getting to enjoy more Mexican foods than usual now as I have bought a bunch of foods for their packaging at a Mexican market.
I started this version of this jacket by creating flat pattern templates in Illustrator. I printed them out to scale and taped the paper jacket together to make sure it worked. I then worked the twisted wire to form the outlines of each patten piece shape.
The final display will be against black felt rather than this purple/blue.
When I first started working on this piece (for a Latino artist friend who loves the pageantry of bullfighting), I wanted to incorporate elements of different cultures. Despite the controversy surrounding bullfighting, it does draw international fans and matador aspirants from diverse countries such as Japan and China. I lived in Spain for a while, (Salamanca) and recall the dramatic bullfighting ring and posters announcing events.
There was a Japanese man, Atsuhiro Shimoyama, who was called Nino del Sol Nacientero (Son of the Rising Sun) who tried to be a bullfighter in Spain. His is an interesting story. Anyway, as a nod to him, I included Mexican/Japanese food packaging and the coloring of the piece (red for the rising sun).
In the Philippines there is bullfighting as well, but it is fighting between bulls and not with people. The backing to this matador jacket is made of a Filipino noodle flour bag overlayed with organza.