Sunday, August 16, 2009
After a busy number of months and a little travel I found a need to center and look at the beautiful ocean for replenishment before starting a period of art production again. A long walk down the beach did the trick. The ocean was calm but moving with such splendor. The color of the water translucent blue green. A swim after the walk, helped me feel fluid. It opened the door to that side, the one that as artists we need to constantly tap into. In my case if I feel energized and fluid I can open that channel to creativity. I guess its time to work.
There is a sign down the street in town announcing the “lucha libre” entertainment taking place tonight at a local venue. It doesn’t seize to amaze me how popular this sport is. There are even masks everywhere for sale, specially for kids. This one is announcing a Cantina in Sayulita, Nayarit.
In San Miguel de Allende where the streets are cobblestone there are many corner stone fountains, which back in the day might have been used as water sources for people in the neighborhood, however today they are purely decorative. Although …you could climb over and get a drink of water if you wish. Loved the variety and the 3d nature of them.
It is fascinating to me to see such a display of color on wheels down the street. Every time I see this truck filled to the rim with any and every plastic item you might need to tend your home I chuckle. It really reminds me that here in Mexico no one is afraid of color. They have even decided to paint all the Post Offices in hot pink and bright green. That is our new MPS identity.
I also recently saw a shoe salesman walking down by the huerta with a cardboard box on a dolly filled with sandals for sale for all the pretty ladies in town. Thess were colorful too!
I have always enjoyed playing with paper maché. Although piñatas were made out of clay when I was a child. As the years passed they became a liability because as they broke, shards of clay were scattered alongside the candy kids were picking up. So they soon moved into making them out of paper maché (safer YES, but it never had the awesome sound of the big crack when you hit the piñata with the stick). Anyway I learned how to make them out of paper maché, and made a few for our daughter’s birthday parties.
I felt nostalgia as I looked at these piñatas displayed in the central market in Guanajuato.
The paper maché dolls have always made an impression on me. They were a little scary when I was a kid. They are very popular dolls, but they always gave me the impression of looking like a mature woman, not a child. Aren’t dolls supposed to look like children? But there is also something kind of genius about them with their gladiator kind of heavy look, their bright colors and big eyes. They are a real magnet for me.
Through our trip in "The Bajio" region of Mexico we found many iconic items. Sometimes easier to find in the smaller towns than in the big cities. For instance small towns, and in particular Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende are filled with churches. Every church has incredible crosses of many different styles. Some are primitive, classical or baroque. They are also used outside of houses, stores or restaurants. They are used as items of decoration on fountains, frames, and furniture. Its use seems to go beyond
Specially in small towns the doors are wonderful. There seems to be a license for color and style. The array of materials, shapes, colors, type of hardware used make them unique. Some are wood, some are metal, some have big pad-locks. Some are elegant,some are simple. But they all mark an entry point, a wall of privacy dividing those from the outside and the inside.
This lies in the ability to see things in an abstract mode. Remembering when you were a child and your parents would ask you to look at the sky and read the shape of a cloud as an elephant or an angel or a bird. Well, old walls and pavement “in my mind” make wonderful pieces of art. An old piece of cobblestone street with its rocks placed somewhat organized and somewhat at random is beautiful. As well as the cracks on an old wall with paint chipping out of it. The colors are faded, they mark the transition of time, they are worn, but they are beautiful.
I found the definition of “Artista” painted on a wall while walking the streets of Guanajuato. An important city in the history of Mexico, a city built over aqueducts, with very narrow streets called “callejones” most of which have no car access and instead have stairs to take you to the next landing or street. The "callejones" wonder and the romance of the city with them. Groups of college kids dressed in renaissance clothing play their guitars and other instruments serenading their loved ones. These streets make you question what might you find around the corner?