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Gunpowder was always part of Nicaraguan life. From religious festivals to birthday celebrations, fireworks were a year round affair for Nicaraguans. When I was a child closing a party with fireworks meant status. During the revolution, the local artisans from barrios like Monimbó, came in support of the Sandinista movement by making craft bombs or "bombas artesanales". They looked very similar to candy in wrapping, which might be the reason some regarded them as caramelos. We always hear of art as a tool of resistance or subversiveness, but in Masaya local artisans used their craftsmanship and materials for actual weapons against an oppressive regime. I didn't paint one for the story nor to glorify war or revolution. To me the image represents a metaphor for the psyche of a child from a war torn country and how many of us are denied talking about how it affected our young consciousness. Some things are best kept wrapped inside and in silence. In fact, talking about how war affected you is a sign of weakness, especially if you did not suffer the same fate as many others who went to war, or my peers who later were forced to serve a revolution. I was lucky enough to get out, but  In my personal case, this only lead me to adopt a false belief that I had an explosive nature. Which in turn I used against myself. While looking for images for my painting, I was surprised to discover that they are still being used for fishing, which is also affecting the local ecosystem and marine life.

 

 Emotional Candy - 2017  Acrylic on canvas 8" x 10"