Nocturnal paintings in the series “Dancing with a Madman” by artist Eriberto Oriol

Nocturnal is a beautifully textured background painting with the color blue being more dominant. The main character not only has four breasts but it also has two penises. What could this artist have been thinking? Eriberto does not try to find meaning in his work; he just gets in his creative zone and allows his characters to emerge.

In his paintings, he seems to be embracing the symbols of ancient civilizations and mythology that have influenced him and his art. Even though breasts and penises seemed to have been a taboo in our society, these symbols are sacred icons of mythology and of goddesses in other cultures, for instance, Japan has a Penis Festival and in Bhutan penises are worship. Click on links for information on the festival in Japan and Bhutan.

Some cultures have made the goddess of women who had more than two breasts. The Hatuibwari dragon of Melanesia had four pendulous breasts, which serve to feed and to nourish all the living. The goddess Meenakshi at the Temple Madurai had three breasts; she symbolized courage and power that challenged sexist notions of the world. The people of India believe she was bold, brave and considered herself equal to men.


In this painting, you will see that Eriberto is also using penises not as phallic symbols, but as symbols of power. He believes that the three Calaveras speak more about the violence and death of people caused by the abuse of power. It speaks of human truths, fears, and nightmares of seemly invisible erased souls begging not to be forgotten. He hopes that these powerful characters startle people out of their daily routine and question the sanity of greed and power and appreciate the art of artists in tune with the creative force of the universe.

Text and photo by Angelica Oriol

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March 2019

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