Monday, January 7, 2013
Mexican Folk Artist, Anonymous 2012
In December of this year I was invited to give a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACO). I hadn't been to Mexico in years, and was reminded how much I loved the Mexican people-their warmth, their humor and their openness. I was also reminded of how much I have been influenced by Mexican Folk Art.
In Oaxaca I found a number of little paintings on aluminum and bought seven($6 each). Based very loosely on the Mexican Retablo, a Latin American devotional painting, they are humorous, often scatological, and truly wonderful, all six inches by five inches, hung with a piece of heavy thread from a small nail hole in the metal. They are where I want to go with my own work: essential, honest, and simply painted with no fuss or muss. I love the loosely painted yellow background on the slick metal surface with the overpainting of the bossy little skeleton wrestler . Red, black, and white-how much simpler can you get? In real life, the Mexican wrestlers wear masks much like the one our little skeleton is wearing, so he is able to be both a "real" skeleton and a "real" wrestler at the same time. And finally, what a great life message, "don't give up in the first fall". Truly words to live by.