NOTE: I am now putting the latest postings at the top of pages so that as they get longer you dont have to scroll down.
A new addition to the galleries in Ajijic carries the work of Mata Ortiz a small village in the northern State of Chihuahua. This area produces exquisite pottery.
If you want to see more do a google search for images here.
Born in Spain-moved eventually to Mexico but in between lived in Madrid and Paris of the thirties and forties. Moved to Mexico in 1941 along with many others to escape the Nazis. She was an accomplished surrealist painter well respected in those circles at the time but less known to us today-though a piece of hers recently was auctioned in the millions.
We saw an exhibition of her work at the Guadalahara University recently and was greatly impressed. Each painting can absorb much time in reflection. Some are quite whimsical.
She was interested in the ideas of Carl Jung and to the theories of George Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Helena Blavatsky, Meister Eckhart and the Sufis, sacred geometry, alchemy and the I Ching.
Apart from knowing the great artists of the period such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera she was a great friend of Leonora Carrington another surrealist and Mexican resident from England.
Below- My favourite-The Vagabond
Sergio Bustamante although born in Sinaloa is Guadalahara’s favourite artistic son.
He has lived and worked there for many years.
His gallery is in what is now a suburb of Guadalahara-Tlaquepaque.
His work is very unique and whimsical.
Below-Maybe not by Bustamante but whimsical none the less.
A statue in the old Chapala train station-now a gallery and performance center.
Below- I wish I knew about these delightful clay sculptures in a Museum in Patzcuaro.
Also in that same Museum/shop this exquisite detail work on laquered metal plates.
Below– Huichol Indian work. The Huichol were never subjugated by the Spanish and still keep themselves distinct.
Below– More assorted pottery designs.
Below-A sculpture in the garden of The Brady House in Cuernavaca.
This mural below is in a government building in Guadalahara showing the period of the nineteen thirties.
In November we visited the 13th annual “Feria Maestros del Arte”-Masters of their art at the Yacht Club in Chapala.
The mission of the organizers is to preserve and promote Mexican indigineous and folk arts. The artists pay no fees and get to keep the money from what they sell.
“In Michoacán, at least 40,000 families live from what they make by hand. But they’re so dependent on pass-through tourist sales that all it takes to cripple a village is for the federal government to build a highway around the town. This happened to the village of Tzintzuntzan years ago and its ceramics industry lost all its vitality. More than half the village’s residents now live in Mexico City, Santa Ana, or Tacoma.”
See also my friend Jim Cooks excellent blog here.
Below-The location was magnificent looking out over the Lake with beautiful grounds. Here looking back at the town of Chapala and it’s iconic mounded hill and the spires of the old church.
Below- Huichol Indians I guess from the pictures and masks all made from tiny beads.
Below-Traditional hand emproidered fabrics
One of the best local artists here is Jesus Garcia Lopez.
His work is to be seen in many places. He has a strong indiginous influence on his work.
He is a wealth of information about the history of the area and Mexico in general.
These images below are from the Ajijic cultural center where his history of Mexico adorns the walls.
Below– Efrem Gonzales is another local artist of repute who paints much village life.
Here he is explaining his painting of the church with a leaning spire.
Below– The work of George Rauch. He was an Austrian Jew who had a remarkable experiences during the Second World War. He survived all that and settled locally near here in the fifties. See his book here.