The Tree of Life was a private commission by Goodyear for their 100th Anniversary celebration during Art Basel Miami Beach. The exhibition was held Dec. 6-7 at the LMNT Studio in the Wynwood district, Miami FL.
The work paid homage and inspiration to Goodyear publication “Kilometros de Historia” (Miles of History, 2013) which documents Goodyear’s history throughout Latin America and the Caribbean through generational narratives of 41 families in 12 countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
Casas headlined the group show with a 3-dimensional work constructed using Goodyear tires handcrafted into geometric designs forming a mandala shape, a spiritual symbol that represents the universe in balance, and sculpted to depict the Mexican Tree of Life. The sculpture - painted yellow gold like the Goodyear crest and in reference to the sun - was complemented by two digital artworks of mandalas that showed symbolic references from the twelve Latin American countries, including: national flowers, fruits, animals, and florals with the Goodyear crest as the center point.
Referencing Mexican folk-art, the work also incorporated symbolic figures used to represent the rebirth of Latin America and new generation. The figural dolls, referenced as the “family blood-line of the Tree of Life (the Pachamama)” include cousin Pedro and sisters Pocahontas and Maria of Carmelitas and a Donkey skull (a symbolic figured used to celebrate Día de los Muertos).
Pedro (the Latin Gaucho) represents the field worker, male provider and tribal chief. Pocahontas is the misitica (the Native American Indian) representing spirituality and connection to the Latin community. And Maria of Carmelitas (a Native American Indian cuddling a lamb) is the representation of warmth and the connection between animals and humans.