The Leopard and the Pig

Isaac Hernandez. Leopard. Oil pastel on paper, 2010.

Back in 2010, in the middle of a marathon of self-portraits, I needed to draw something other than myself, something beautiful. I don’t do very many portraits that are not me. Or maybe it’s me.

I think the leopard is my spirit animal. As much as I’d love to fly, and even though I had a dream a long time ago that I fed a bald eagle ham and she gave me a hug as I lay on the ground, my heart is with the panthers. -December 2012 update: Recently, I dreamt about cuddling with a fox and a black panther. I never wanted to wake up.

I’m grateful for the large feline, who sat still for hours while I drew.

Isaac Hernández, Snooky, oil pastel on paper, 2010.

Some people eat pig, pardon me, pork, for Christmas. I have to admit I’ve done it too, even though we had a pet pig once. It was my father’s pig, which he won in an auction which raised money for a good cause. I can still see my mom’s face when my dad walked in the door with a pig on a leash, wearing a muzzle. At first, my dad said that he had won it in a Christmas raffle, but then the truth came out that he was the highest bidder! The taxi driver that brought him home wasn’t too amused with the pig either.

The pig lived on the balcony of our Madrid apartment’s kitchen until we found him a good home. It became the main attraction that Christmas. We all brought our friends over to see “el cerdo de mi padre”, which translates as “the pig of my father”, but also, “my father, the pig.” When he left a few weeks later to the farm house of the apartment building’s doorman, it was very sad. Nevertheless, we had a good time with the pig of my father. Thank you dad for being completely spontaneous and bringing a pig home!

I didn’t want to eat pig for Christmas. So I decided to paint pig instead. I made the painting as a present for a friend, the owner of the live pig.


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