Ofrenda, 2009.

Oil, paper, and embroidery on canvas,

36 x 36 inches.

Image detail

About This Artwork: Ofendas are an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations. This is a big event in Los Angeles. The word ofrenda means offering in Spanish. They are also called altares or altars, but they are not for worship; they are to remember loved ones who have passed. They are also not paintings. They're usually set up on tables, covered in table cloths and tissue paper with candles, and pictures of the deceased. Often some of their favorite clothing, preferred dishes are cooked for them, especially sweets, sometimes cigarettes or liquor if they enjoyed that sort of thing. And of course, beautiful flowers.

These are my parents, and they died not long before I painted this.