Why Watermelon?

Green on the outside, with a band of white rind and its red juicy meat, watermelon is practically an edible banner showing off Mexico’s national colours.  I also chose this fruit for my logo because of its relevance to Mexico’s economy and culture.  As the top exporter of watermelon in the world, Mexico sells about one third of its harvest to international markets from October to June. In 2016, Mexico’s watermelon exports added to $380.9 million USD [1] (that’s a little over 25% of total watermelon exports worldwide!)  Watermelon also seems to be an omnipresent motif in Mexican Art, prominently shown on canvas and ceramic pieces.  Rufino Tamayo focused solely on watermelons in many of his paintings [2], and Frida Kahlo featured them in her moving “Sandías” (“Watermelons” 1954), also known as “Viva la vida” (“Long Live, Life!”), after the message she painted to look as being carved onto one of the watermelon slices [3].  It is not hard to imagine a Mexican still life with a sliced watermelon nested amongst other fruits; the bowl with still life in the picture above, which I got as a hand-me-down from my mom, is a good example.

watermelon feb 20 2018Since watermelon crops require a long, hot and humid season to thrive, I went to the supermarket knowing that I was not going to find any grown in Canada right now, but perhaps, they would have some from Mexico.  I was mildly disappointed when all I could find were mini watermelons from Honduras; nevertheless, I bought a couple, so I could begin my design.  I will be checking for regular sized ones from Mexico; hopefully they will show up at my supermarket in the next few weeks.

 

carved my slice of mexico feb 2018 2I proceeded to carve Mexico’s outline literally “in the flesh”.  I sliced the watermelon into quarters, and then trimmed the side of the best looking piece, to make it stand at an angle.  I used a paring knife to shape the Northern border and the East coast in the red meat.  Then, I traced the West coast and Yucatan peninsula (Caribbean Sea) on the peel with a fine marker, and went back to the paring knife to remove the green outer layer and expose the white rind along the marker line.  The watermelon was seedless, and I thought it looked too plain.  I punched circles of seaweed (nori) – as used to add details in Japanese lunch boxes (bento) – shaped them as hearts with scissors, and placed them on my design to resemble seeds.  I was pleased with my one-of-a-kind edible art (photo), which became the inspiration for my logo.

 

 

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