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Mary Magdalene as the Black Madonna

Madonna and Child by Tanya Torres, Oil on Canvas, 8" wide by 10" high, 2018. Part of The Dark Magdalene exhibition at the Bronx Music Heritage Center. $350. In my culture, many people assume that the Black Virgin is dark because of the syncretism between European Catholicism and African religions. But the Black Virgin or Black Madonna was in Europe before the Europeans arrived in the New World, and before African slavery. The Black Virgin may well have her origins in Africa, but is not an ethnic representation. She is a metaphor of our human origins. Why is She black? There are several theories that try to explain why there are images of the Virgin and Child that are black. Let's ignore the

The Dark Magdalene

When I was invited to present an art exhibition at the Bronx Music Heritage Center, I was asked to think about the Black Virgin. I proposed to explore the connection to Mary Magdalene and gave a tentative title, The Dark Magdalene. At that point I didn't know if I would keep the title, but little by little knew that I would not change it. It has certainly been a dark time for me lately, and in order to come into the light I had to get comfortable with the darkness. I didn't know what the Dark Magdalene was, so I began with the Black Madonna and read a book about her history, and let the rest of the images come. I packed my studio essentials, paint, brushes, canvas, inks... and left New York

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