Mickey was too busy eating fried chicken to notice the cloud of piñatas forming overhead
Acrylic on wood
January 8, 2009

Interpretation #1: Mickey as Everyman
Mickey has become so consumed with a relationship or addiction that he does not notice the other things in his life that could hold potential surprises: candy (good things) or poison (bad things). Either way, his compulsion is causing him to miss out.

Interpretation #2: Mickey as America
Mickey is so obsessed with devouring the fried chicken/oil of the Middle East that he fails to see the piñatas of other nations looming over him, which again, could hold good or bad surprises. The piñata is an international symbol dating back to 14th century Venetian explorer Marco Polo’s journey to China, where he discovered the Chinese breaking lightweight earthenware pots filled with seeds to celebrate certain religious festivals. The contents were burned and scattered for good luck. He brought the tradition back with him to Europe where it was quickly adapted to Lenten ceremonies in Catholic Italy and Spain. The Spanish missionaries brought piñata celebrations to the New World in the 16th century, where they discovered the indigenous peoples already using a similar religious tradition, which involved breaking a pot to honor the gods. From there, it evolved into the celebratory ritual we know today, particularly in México and the United States. Thus the piñata is a truly both a global and historical symbol, indicative of the age-old drama we continue to witness in the 21st century.

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