Dedication : Events Before Sunrise

Make sure to turn audio on :-).

Dear Collector,

Criptera speaking, all the way from the dystopian tropical paradise I came to be born, yet can’t stop loving, Puerto Rico. I really hope this piece arrived unscathed & that you’re delighted with it. I encourage you to hang my artwork somewhere with minimum sunlight exposure, and caress it gently every once in a while.

“Events Before Sunrise” is more than my simplistic visualization of what happens after I stay up all night outside crafting, until the sun becomes a scathing ball of fire, that would turn any other person into tasty bacon.I hope that you are smiling frequently, and that you’re doing okay during these tough times. I appreciate your support for me and my passion. It has been a bumpy ride for all of us.

This piece was done during my grandmother’s last battle with cancer; she was the wisest woman I ever came across, not because she’s my beloved, but her whole neighborhood saw her as a paragon in the community, and I see her in every lady that asks me to get them something from the top shelf at the supermarket. Somehow, they just know I can’t resist to help a granny in distress, plus they usually give me good advice after I hand them a can of beans, so I guess that’s how heaven’s telephone works. The sole act of doing a good deed may cause some type of strain, may it be physical, spiritual or emotional, but they do repay themselves by the thousands… Once you go past the hurdle of questioning yourself repeatedly, before finally executing such task(s). I came to the conclusion, that random acts of kindness, should be something carried out selflessly, and bring out your altruistic self, to achieve life-saving mindfulness and strength to tackle even in the most inflexible scenarios.

While I was graduating my bachelor’s degree, she was also coming down with her illness, after making it through chemotherapy, ten years later it recurred, and it spread to her whole body. A woman I used to see chop down trees a little while ago, was the person I was caring for like a delicate newborn for 6 months. I used to sit beside her for hours, drawing/crafting how I felt… To vent, and also be there whenever she had to eat, be rotated, or carefully guard her from caregivers that came to the household and saw her as a dying time-bomb, instead of a transitioning soul.

She was my protector ever since I have sense of reason, and I was obligated by the duty of love to repay her every second, no matter how bad she got. In the day, I tended to my classes, but by night I was her moon and reason to smile. I made it easier, it also reciprocated in my mood to see her last moments, and to be proud that I was one of the few people she saw in the end… So I know she can put in a good word for St. Peter for me in heaven’s the VIP list. Now that she’s gone from her vessel, she’s scattered on everything, like a meteor shower of memories.

She was born in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo during the 1940’s and 50’s, and flew to the Island for a better quality of life. She used to tell me stories of how women used to be treated unfairly, and even be kidnapped for their looks, to appeal the renown “El Benefactor”, as they called Trujillo. She shared insights on how his officials were given the task to scout for women, bring them to parties as a sex-trafficking tactic. She even got targeted because of her “moon face”, it was a huge welcoming face, and men kind of liked that in her time. She had to run fast and be witty, or face disappearing like the others.

Justina, my grandmother, raised me to be a warrior, always following me around to know I was in the right path, that I cared for all things holistically; specially how to be aware of your surroundings at all times, and that the world can be unkind, but not if you outsmart the bad ones. As she laid in her deathbed, just a few days setting us apart from our physical connection, I did this piece, as an offering to the heavens to please take her soul and stop her pain. In hopes to get to have her essence every once in a while, in all the little details that remind me of her daily. She had already forgotten who she was, and was confusing me with her daughter and friends. It was cool, because I could be all of them for her, so she wouldn’t be sad missing them during her transcendence.

You see, (mostly) everyone is very happy to hear someone is having a baby, but when it comes to the end of life, there’s barely anyone strong willed enough to be there until your skin goes cold, I didn’t want to miss a second. And just like the moon, her phases, the way she says goodbye in the horizon, just before the Sun comes up, and how she comes back each day to guard me at night when I think I’m walking home alone.

This piece helped me get closure, and along with the piece, you’re getting a chunk of my heart. I’ll be okay, I promise, but I needed to let her go. Now I can keep going and make her proud. Someone is waiting to catch us on the other side, and it makes me feel good that I know this work it’s going to a person that will cherish it as much as I do. I will always keep it in me, I didn’t want to sell, and I was afraid to let go, but in doing so, happiness spreads now between all of us, here on Earth, and all its hidden dimensions.

Thank you so much again, please be safe, and guard those around you.

Remember, we’re angels in training, don’t lose your way.

Eternal Blessings,

Twitter & Instagram: @criptera



My sisters and I had to take a picture. We were really proud of how we did Abuela’s hair and makeup, she looked beautiful
This artwork has been blessed by Kafka, our feline curator & su-purr-visor.