Painted in City Park on Halloween, this is my interpretation of the veve, or symbol, for Erzulie Dantor. Her heart-shaped symbol is fused with the silhouette of an ancient oak. The oak trees in New Orleans are so expressive, long arms flailing, reaching, embracing, and I often imagine them as dancing spirits--their dances are simply much slower than ours, done over centuries instead of seconds. The Loa (Voodoo goddess) Erzulie Dantor has always fascinated me--her protectiveness over women and children, her fascination with knives, her romantic side, her fierce and wild side.
Every Loa has his or her own unique veve. Sacrifices and offerings are usually placed upon them. The veve is usually drawn on the floor by strewing a powder-like substance, such as cornmeal, wheat flour, bark, red brick powder, or gunpowder. Though I do not practice Voodoo, I enjoy attending occasional ceremonies and admire the dynamic characters of the Loa spirits.
This painting is done on a wooden wine box; the edges and handle at the top are painted a brilliant bright red.