PRINT April 1992


IN VENEZUELA, A LARGELY CATHOLIC country like much of Latin America, the most important event of the year is the “Miss Venezuela” pageant. Broadcast into every home, from the largest Italianate villa to the smallest Latinesque rancho (shanty), via the miracle of television, it is an event of epic proportions—the coming of the new madonna. The winner’s name is known to everyone, daily incantations of it making it as important a part of the Spanish language as the ever-growing slang. No Miss Venezuela, it should be noted, has ever married. These beautiful women become the mistresses of bankers and politicians, thus maintaining, at least symbolically, their traditional and much appreciated virginal status.

For his debut in the exhibition space at the Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos Romulo Gallegos in Caracas, José Antonio Hernández-Diez chose to explore similar territory. Offering a

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