In March my husband Jack and I flew to Mexico City and Oaxaca for a week each. Wow, what a great trip. We saw and did so much that I just decided this has to be a two-part blog.
The weather was lovely - mostly dry and warm. There was a bit of a heat wave. (What place in the world isn’t having unusual weather?) And it’s a rather high elevation - 3-6ooo feet up - so that took getting used to.
We went to several art galleries and collections, small and large museums, various interesting shops, fabulous markets, and we walked and walked. All the while we were snacking on mangoes and sidewalk treats. Having lunch/dinner at 3pm meant that we had to lie down for a siesta in our B&Bs. Sometimes that would end up being the end of another very dense day.
Art in Mexico is political! It often refers back to peoples’ roots and Mexican history - there’s a lot of symbolism, skulls and skeletons, snakes and other animals, guns…
TATTOOS & PIERCINGS
Back in the SF Bay Area I now see people’s tattoos and piercings in a different light. Throughout Mexico I observed the ancient and contemporary art and artifacts made by and about the indigenous populations. Tattoos and piercings are a popular look in Mexican cities and it fits right in… (see below).
As a figurative artist, I love human figures, and the works I saw on this last trip are some of the most expressive I’ve ever seen. Maybe I was studying them more than usual. Checking to see what their facial expressions and their hands were doing as well as their clothing, accessories, and if obvious - their bodies and genitals.
THE DUALITY THEME
ADORABLE ANIMAL VESSELS
WALL ART: GRAFFITI, PAINT COLORS, POSTERS & SIGNS
HEADS & SKULLS
STRONG PRINTMAKING EVERYWHERE
…AND CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
BOLD COLOR, TEXTURE, PATTERN
FRIDA, DIEGO, & TROTSKY
Love this image of Frida dead center. A highlight of our trip was the xxxx where most of the walls including the stairwells are filled with Diego’s ultra political murals.
Frida’s death. I have two photos that relate top it directly. Because she was a tragic heroine, like a fairy tale.
Diego…I had so many favorite murals I wanted to show you all, but this one (below) seems most apt to our times about the moneyed class.
And Trotsky…lived with Frida and Diego for two years then he got a house and that’s where he was murdered with an ice ax. Right in his office, by a Stalinist. Another fascinating little museum not far from Casa Azul.
PRETTY, UNUSUAL, & TASTEY
THE WEAVING VILLAGE - A DEMO
LAST (BUT NOT LEAST) ART RESIDENCY WITH BLACK & WHITE PROJECTS AT PACIFIC FELT FACTORY
“BARBIE ON THE CUSP” - Barbie! Oh, where does SHE fit in?
I created a storybook, which I also read aloud on video, and did an installation with my dolls, some costume props, and life drawings done on the spot. Everything is different from my usual work.
This is the project that I pitched and now I’m in the midst of my Art Residency with Black and White Projects at Pacific Felt Factory in SF. I took two weeks off in the middle of ALL this, and went to Mexico where I obsessed over Barbie the entire trip (without making any real progress). My iPad died. And I am self-identified as an iPad artist.
But for now - if you want to see what I’m working on in this mostly analog project installation show, and you live in the SF Bay Area, come to PACIFIC FELT FACTORY this Saturday, 4/13 from 3-5pm.
We’ll talk Barbie. You might even tell me your own personal Barbie story.
The name of the show is “Barbie on the Cusp”. Details: