Pencil Drawing on Paper by the Bolivian Surrealist artist, Benjamin Mendoza y Amor Flores (1935 - 2014), untitled of a Man laying on his back holding a large fish on top of him and between his legs, the fish has his mouth open revealing shark’s teeth and has the man’s head within his bite. Mendoza was known for his dream/nightmare drawings, juxtaposing good and evil in unconventional forms. Signed in pencil in the lower right hand corner “Benjamin Mendoza Tokyo, Japan 1963”
Measuring: 8 inches x 11-1/2 inches, framed and glazed 14-3/8 inches x 17-3/8 inches.
Condition: Minor yellowing of the paper due to light exposure, evidence of foxing by two small pinhead sized spots, otherwise fine.
Benjamín Mendoza y Amor Flores (1935 - 2014) is a Bolivian surrealist painter who is best known for the unsuccessful attempted assassination of Pope Paul VI on the occasion of the first Papal visit to Asia. Mendoza left La Paz, Bolivia, in 1962 and lived in Argentina, the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines from 1962 until 1970. On November 27, 1970, at approximately 9:30 in the morning, Mendoza, dressed as a priest, lunged at Pope Paul VI with a Kris shortly after the Pope disembarked from his chartered jet at the airport in Manila. However, the Pope was only lightly stabbed and Mendoza was immediately subdued and arrested. Later, he was tried and in his testimony claimed that as he was thrusting towards the Pope, President Marcos intercepted him with with a “kick and a chop”. He was lightly sentenced to imprisonment, for four years. The question remains was it a true attempt on the Pope’s life or a surreal symbolic gesture realized by performance art or one of President Marcos’ desperate ploys to assert his power & popularity?