The painting shows a young man in traditional, colourfully embroidered Mexican women’s clothing. He wears a scarf tucked into his hair. In his right hand he holds rolled up tortillas. In his left are several large dried chilli peppers, which he smells with his eyes closed. His facial expression seems relaxed and introverted. In front of him on a table are ingredients for the traditional Mexican dish “Mole” (sauce). Different types of chillies, vegetables, almonds, homemade chocolate and various spices in different containers are displayed there in great detail.
Kurt Stimmeder’s portrait follows the principles of Renaissance painting – the light comes from the top left, the figure itself casts no shadows. The artist paid attention to the detailed depiction of the individual elements. Earthy and red tones dominate, the dark background does not allow any conclusions about the room. The classical, triangular composition of the picture is reminiscent of icon painting. The oil portrait in the format 61 x 50 centimetres was painted in 2021 and is set in a dark wooden frame, decorated with ornaments.
Artist about his work: “In this painting, I tell the personal story of my model Moctezuma Valencia López. The deliberate break in the depiction of traditional gender roles – in Mexico “mole” is traditionally prepared only by women in the family – allegorically illustrates Moctezuma’s situation as an openly homosexual man in his family and, by extension, in Mexican society. Also hidden in the selected ingredients are further references to derogatory terms for LGBTIQ+ people. Hostility is common, as in many countries. “Te gusta el Chile” translates into English as “do you like men” and “tortillas” is the name given to lesbian women in Mexico.
My main question here is: Are we ready to take on the tasks of the opposite sex and is society ready to recognise this? Aesthetically idealised, my portrait gives the answer: Yes, We are!”