El Baile del Viejito (The Old Man's Dance)
Medium:Digital Art Print
Digital print of an older man, bent forward towards the viewer in an elaborate and colorful outfit or costume. Many streamers are coming from his hat. Large red sun behind him with a bright blue sky. Few flowers in the "dirt" around his feet.
Javier Salazar Rojas, known by the artist name Deported Artist, was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and brought to Oakland,California as a baby. He was raised in East Oakland, too young to understand that he didn't have papers. At twenty-four, Salazaar was incarcerated for eleven years. During this time he educated himself and learned to draw. Shortly after his release, he was deported. Today, through all the hardships of his life, Salazar reflects on his struggles through his art. On this piece he reflects, "El Baile Del Viejito is a traditional dance from the state of Michoacán."
In the dance, a younger boy imitates four older male dancers with humor and mirth This dance was danced by the Purepecha people with four men to represent fire, water, earth and air. Four dancers are also believed to be the correct number to dance in this traditional performance because there are four colors that make corn, red, yellow, white and blue. The dancers ask El Dios Viejo (The Old God) for good harvest, communication with the spirits, and to learn about the past or to predict the future.