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Cristina Grajales Gallery

Gloria Cortina

Quiet Hummingbird

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Gloria Cortina’s designs are inspired by numerous historical and creative forces, from the ancient Aztecs to the 20th Century Mexican masters Luis Barragan and Mathias Goeritz. Her work speaks to the historic and cultural ideas of Mexico while remaining distinctively contemporary. Birds and their feathers and movements are an integral part of Pre-Columbian mythology, and Cortina is acutely aware of their symbolic value. For Cortina, feathers come from the legend of Huitzilopochtli, the great Mexican God of War. He was born out of a nest of feathers and turned into an invincible warrior. In Nahuatl, his name means “hummingbird of the south”. He is portrayed wearing an enormous headdress made of hummingbird feathers. The legend states that this God became a hummingbird in order to guide the Aztecs as they emerged from their place of origin, Aztlán. He has dual qualities that Cortina replicates by juxtaposing the different materials – obsidian in several colors, quartz, onyx, and bronze. These Hummingbird sconces are made out of onyx with hand-hammered bronze bodies and a refined obsidian tail. For the Aztecs, the bird was immortal and, despite his size, displayed tremendous determination when fluttering its wings. His tenacity assured that he would achieve his goals. For the Mayans, the hummingbird was responsible for carrying out one’s desires. Cortina’s pieces provide a beautiful presence in the same way that a hummingbird brings its desires to fruition.

Gloria Cortina


  • Date/

    2021-10-15 20:19:00

  • Edition/


  • Material/

    Black Obsidian, Hand-hammered Patinated Bronze, Onyx

  • Dimension/

    40.0 x 5.0 x 60.3 cm (15.7 x 2.0 x 23.7 in)

  • Style/


  • Heritage/


  • Ships from/


  • Made to order/


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