Guadalajara artist Jorge Monroy has completed another outstanding mural. Like his two previous works, this one is also located on the campus of the University of Guadalajara Medical School.
Compared to some of Monroy’s other murals – such as his 30-meter-long painting which graces the Guachimontones Center – his new obra, entitled “La Influencia de la Tecnología en la Medicina,” is rather small, measuring six by 1.8 meters, but, says the painter, it has good visibility, as it hangs in a corridor where great numbers of students and teachers are constantly passing.
“The idea was to paint something in this place related to the students’ future, something that might stimulate them and inspire them to study,” Monroy told me in his Pinar de la Venta studio. “I was free to paint anything I wanted, as long as it was connected with medicine, so I decided to investigate the technological advances in this field and to interpret my findings through my medium.”
Anyone passing by the painting is impacted, even from a distance, by the face of a woman, lit with warm colors, a face contrasting strongly with a background of dark blue.
“The woman represents humanity,” explained Monroy, “and from her head emanate ideas, represented by glowing spheres, large and small.”
All around this cosmic woman we can see technological advances in medicine, some of them only in their infancy. Near the lower right-hand corner we can see a whole-body scanner representing the very latest diagnostic devices that scan at the molecular level. The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner, for example, can be used to detect cancerous tissues and cells in the body that may not always be found by other devices. Slightly radioactive glucose is injected into the patient’s bloodstream, and, because cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells, the PET scanner can not only find them, but can also determine the malignancy of a tumor.
The machines to the left of the face speak about the “almost magical” technology of remote surgery by which a doctor in one country can operate on a patient in another.
If you take time to peruse everything going on in the mural, you may spot images related to cloning, in-vitro fertilization, laser-beam surgery, cryopreservation, genetic engineering and stem-cell technology.
Said Monroy: “At the far right we can see a human figure using prostheses already available: artificial legs, arms, pacemakers, hearing aids, etc. while up above, we have the prototype of an artificial heart, which has not not yet been perfected, but which will likely be in use – along with an artificial kidney – by the time this new generation of medical students graduates.”
All three of Jorge Monroy’s “medical murals” are located on the sprawling campus of the University of Guadalajara’s Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud (CUCS), which is bounded by four streets: Sierra Nevada, Sierra Mojada, Salvador Quevedo y Zubieta and Centro Medico. The entrance is at Sierra Mojada 950 and Monroy said you can get in simply by explaining you want to view his murals. Once inside, you will find his Medical Advances painting in the building called Control Escolar and his Transparent Man and Woman in building “N.” A third mural, honoring Robero Mendiola, a former UdG rector, is located, appropriately, in Auditorio Roberto Mendiola. If you search long enough on the CUCS web page, cucs.udg.mx, you’ll find a map of the campus.
Finding your way around any university is annoyingly complicated, but many of Jorge Monroy’s other works are easily accessed. Among my personal favorites are his “Under the Wings of Mercury,” conveniently located in the foyer of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce on Avenida Vallarta, “Eternal Light,” at the Infinity Funeral Home (General San Martín 140), and the amazing “Tlaloc Reigns over Chapala,” at the Jalisco State Water Commission Water Treatment Plant and Training Center (CEA Chapala in Google Maps) located at González Gallo 24A in Chapala. If you’d like to see Tlaloc and take a very interesting tour of the plant as well, just get a little group together and make arrangements with Azahar Alcazar at the Commission. Her number is 331-419-4149 and yes, she speaks English.