A Flag-Bearing Monster
'A Flag-Bearing Monster'
prior to 1976
14.5 x 18 ins
This bizarre monster appears to have a bird's body with the head of a spectacled bear. The fact that it is wearing an ornate necktie indicates that it is a monster of some social significance. It is also a patriotic beast because in its left foot it holds a vertical pole flying a slightly garbled version of the Panamanian flag. Other molas are known in which a bear with curled ears is shown waving a Panamanian flag, as though this is some kind of political emblem. The ears on this mola are strange because their curled ends are at the end of long stalks. The face has whiskers and white, protruding, buck teeth, or fangs. The staring eyes are wearing pink spectacles.
The previous owner of this mola believes that it was signed by the artist. Just above the top of the lag pole there are two short, tiny lines of stitching that appear to have nothing to do with the rest of the picture. The upper line is black herring bone, the lower one a broken line of white dashes. An alternative explanation is that these small marks are meant to indicate that the flag pole is moving - is being waved by the monster - but if this is not the case, then it is worth studying all molas to see if more of them may contain small signature marks that identify individual artists.