Never what had been so far, we have had so close. Around 1500, one of the most marvelous works of art appeared in the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We are talking about the painting that Michelangelo made to decorate this temple by order of Pope Julius II.
The technical dominance, iconographic and artistic complexity of this painting remain intact in a temple that, until today, is one of the most sacred in the world.
However, a legacy like this couldn’t stay just for some. That is why the Mexican artist Miguel Macías, with over 70 years old, decided to create a replica of the famous Sistine Chapel. This was made possible in a church located north of Mexico’s capital, known as Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro.
But, who is Miguel?
Miguel Macías is one of those genuine artists that, ever since he was little, knew his talent was painting. Even though he studied for a different profession, it was not far from art itself. And he was always driven to buy books of different artists and create copies of the most difficult works of art to master his technique.
“I consider myself as a regular person, I don’t come from a family of artists or anything like that. I studied graphic design, I remember that when I was little, a friend gave me a set of brushes and oil paints. It was then when I got inspired and knew that I was made to paint.”
His encounter with the Sistine Chapel
Faith took him to contemplate this masterpiece in person. In 1999, when he finished his bachelor as an architect, he traveled to Europe with his childhood friend.
That’s where he lived one of the most astonishing artistic experiences, to admire what Michelangelo had made inside the Sistine Chapel.
When he got back, and after retiring, he decided that he would make a replica in his city. He thought it was unfair that only a few got access to one of the most extraordinary works of art of the world.
And just like that, being a self taught artist, he started with the measurements and colors to start his new project.
“I am God’s and art follower. I admire challenges and I’m thankful that I have the health to keep on painting.”
The first challenge he had on his project was calculating all the correct measurements. To trace these was a hard task because they had to be exactly like the ones on the Sistine Chapel.
As he moved on, getting the right color was also an issue. This was because the pigments used by Michelangelo were made out of stone and natural products that no longer exist. However, with the help of acrylics and fabric, Miguel achieved the impossible. That’s how he made an exact replica, with the right colors, measurements and themes.
Life that turns into art
Miguel suffered several falls from the platforms, but never got hurt. The project took him 18 years to complete. Almost two decades that translate into 500 square meters of pure structure.
His work changed his life by submerging him into a world filled with colors and paint. But, he was proud of achieving what no one else could.
“ I lost friendships, painting is very time consuming. I worked up to eight hours daily on the chapel and, sometimes, I didn’t eat well. But, to make everything easier I designed my own platforms, and had many helping hands. As there was no money involved I included their names in each figure they made as a way of recognizing their time invested and their job as artists.”
A work of art that cannot be expressed into words.
When he finished the replica, all his neighbors applauded his effort. Some didn’t really understood what was going on, but they admired his job, as any Mexican do… they made a party!
Miguel is one of those #mexicanoschingones that knows the key to everything is to never give up. Thanks to him, now we can be close to what has always been far away from us.
The Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro is located in: Aviación #74, colonia Moctezuma, primera sección, Venustiano Carranza.
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