Portrait of a Man with a Clown Nose
Eugenia Martínez (Mexican, b. 1976)
MediumEnamel paint on Plexiglas, antique photograph
DimensionsFrame : 12 3/16 x 10 7/16 in. (30.96 x 26.51 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelMexico City-based artist Eugenia Martinez studied economics and sociology before she decided to pursue a career as an artist. Her work often explores issues of gender, class and race, and seeks to expose contradictions between social ideals and lived realities. This work belongs to a series Martinez created using old family photographs found in flea markets. She alters the images by hand—in this case by adding a plastic clown nose to the figure—and places them in frames inscribed with meticulously handwritten texts drawn from contemporary political and cultural leaders. The inscription on this piece reads “La gallina de los huevos de oro se nos fue secando” (“The hen that lays the golden egg is drying up”). It is a quote from a 2017 speech by then Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto about the economic problems that will be caused by Mexico’s diminishing oil reserves.