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retablo: the miracle
"The beatific stories told in these retablos are not, as some might suggest, concocted nonsense but rather divine parables revealed from above. As it happens, these sudden revelations seem most often to be visited upon me during those excited reveries induced by the arrival of a fresh bundle of enamel spoons.
"My practice of recording stories of the miraculous intercession of saints was inspired by devotional paintings in Mexico known as retablos santos, used in household altars in the belief that a Saint should be seen to be venerated. The sanctuaries of especially revered Saints are still adorned with these small paintings which depict miracles and give thanks to the Saint in question. Diego Rivera was among the first to recognise these endearing narratives as real folk art and was a dedicated collector of retablos."

Pip McManus
Catalogue Essay