The front and back metal gates to the massive Cathedral, in the center of the Zona Colonia, are not four hundred years old. They look that old, however, and the faces sculpted unto them look eternal and primordial.
There are the faces of Luke, Mark, Matthew and John from the Bible. There are faces that show basic human emotions that continue, regardless of time and place. There are insignia of the Spanish Crown, familial and political dynasties. The weathered corroded faces remind me of Gothic figures peering down from old churches in Europe telling us we are not perfect and will be rewarded for our sins in terrible ways I cannot imagine, even in my most harrowing of dreams.
Each art form tries to convey human emotions with its own materials and methods.
Music uses sound to suggest romantic interludes, fierce battles, fear invoking scenes. Art uses color and line to show the three dimensional world on two dimensional surfaces. Sculpture, as done by old masters, uses clay, bronze, marble or stone to show us who we are and who we should be. These weathered faces on the gates convey anger, remorse, pain, love, tenderness, regret, hope, betrayal.
These faces draw me closer instead of pushing me away.
I would like them much better if one of these guys was laughing.
Even back then, people working on this Cathedral liked a good joke, even if it’s telling sometimes got them locked up in the dungeon for a few nights with a hundred lashes and not even a pot to pee in.