The open camera lens captures the movement thus giving less definition to my features. The disfiguring effect is a reflection on the expressive force of dance and how movement is a powerful resource to externalise emotion.
These images correspond to my latest traveling journal- black in its original cover-.
As this is where I record events and images of my travels, I decided to work on a cover that would be representative of such experiences and so I chose a couple of papers: For the front cover, a map of Prague with a sticker I collected in Vienna and for the back a leaflet I took in Zürich and much liked because of the striking colours and photograph of two people in movement. This is what came out.
It is known that the only things we often regret are those we don't do.
In September last year after some doubt but motivated by Freitag's visual concept and ethos, I drafted an idea for a rain-bag and even though it didn't take concrete shape, I clearly visualised it, which means, it can always become alive.
A menudo nos sentimos mas genuinamente involucrados en nuestras tradiciones culturales estando lejos de la patria.
Durante varios años he vivido fuera de México mi país. Cuando la gente me pregunta sobre México, son por lo general los lugares comunes o las situaciones adversas de su compleja historia socio-política los que despiertan la curiosidad, salvo excepciones, claro.
El otro día me sorprendió la mirada penetrante de la Kahlo dentro de una cajita como diciendo: "Mira, he desafiado a la muerte a través del arte y ahora estoy aquí en una casa del país donde nació mi padre"
Esta revelación me ha hecho pensar cuánto me gustaría que el arte milenario de mi país fuera motivo de asombro mas a menudo así como a mí me ha refrescado reencontrarme con su plástica única y su espiritualidad en ese sentido de luz que proviene y va hacia la contemplación estética.
El arte de México es la voz digna de una cultura tan colorida y vasta como su misma iconografía. Sus elementos gráficos son alfabeto universal y también melodía.
La siguiente es una serie de fotografías tomadas en la casa de una amiga en la región vinícola del Rin, Alemania.
Mi amiga vivió una temporada relativamente corta en México pero lo suficiente para sentir su candor y su belleza y por ello supo empacar bien las maletas antes de partir.
Este día es la parte por el todo la que me transporta a los grandes muralistas: David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Roberto Montenegro, Rufino Tamayo; a la poesía de Cuevas y la prosa de Paz, al buen cine Mexicano, a los espacios místicos de Luis Barragán, a la fotografīa de Manuel Alvarez Bravo, a la danza y al monumental Bellas Artes y sé que me quedo muy corta de nombres y de cronologías pero es en fin, esta iconografía inserta por la cual hoy abrazo en la imaginación un árbol de hule que da sandías.
It is often when we are far away from our country that we feel more rooted to our own cultural traditions.
I have been living overseas for several years. And it is generally speaking the common place or the adverse aspects of Mexico's complex socio-political history those that awake in people's curiosity, save for some exceptions.
The other day Kahlo's intense gaze behind the glass of a little box caught me by surprise as if saying: "Look at me, I have defied death through art and now I'm here in the land of my father".
This event transported me to the great Mexican Muralists: David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera, Roberto Montenegro; to Cueva's poetry and Octavio Paz' prose, to the good Mexican cinema and the mythical spaces of Luis Barragán's architecture, to Manuel Alvarez Bravo's photography and the magnificent "Palacio de Bellas Artes". The mention is short of names and chronologies.
It made me think how wonderful it would be if Mexico's ancient art was more often the source of curiosity, just as my spirit has been stirred by it. Its aesthetic contemplation comes from and leads to spiritual enlightenment.
Mexican art is a dignifying and prevailing voice. It presents us with a culture that is as richly colored as its own iconography.
The graphic elements are universal language and melody at once.
The following are a series of photographs taken at a friend's place in the Rhine Valley, Germany.
My friend lived for a relatively short period in México, yet it was long enough to ensure she knew how to best pack the luggage.
It is this embedded iconography the one which takes me to embrace in all imagination a rubber tree bearing watermelons.
When I looked for the signature on this I found none. What a pity.
[Art work by Máximo Xavier for Tequila José Cuervo]
Alemania Julio 2 del 2014. Un pequeño homenaje a México.
Just as stitches follow one another, the past weekend I was able to stitch together pieces of my own memory fabric.
The visit to De Rien's clothing atelier in London and a recent visit to Sommerset House where I discovered Boro.
Boro's origins date back to the Edo period (17th-and early 19th Century)
and it was what impoverished Japanese people would wear in times of economic struggle.
Centuries have gone by but Boro's beautiful qualities have prevailed and it is gaining increasing currency among talented designers in an array of beautiful reinterpretations.
Colour is an important aspect of Boro, hence, the indigo tones as opposed to those worn by the aristocracy like golden or red.
The interesting part in this sequel has been to experience how things acquire a different dimension when removed from their original context.
It is also notable how this shift in time and space confers the object with new meaning and purpose.
Ironically, it is Boro's aesthetic value -though not exclusively- what current trends in design deem so valuable, making it an object of desire and inspiration.
Boro's beauty lies in its organic quality which makes it rather humane and intriguing. The visible stitches as symbols of frailty and wounded stories. Patched and washed out, and when seen from afar, a marvellous map of light and shadow.
The relevance it has taken among some designers and craftspeople is -a lucky act for us- of openness, visual stimulation and individuality, which mass production could not replace.
Boro is the Japanese stitch work on worn out pieces of fabric which dates back to war time when it was worn by the impoverished population and blue was regarded as a less luxurious colour as opposed to red which denoted a higher social status.
This blog is about connecting some dots that don't seemingly have anything in common, except, they make sense to me .
The first one is David Lynch, followed by the Tate London and random memories, and if I can't pull out of this one; I'll fetch an eraser head. David Lynch's exhibition at the Photographers Gallery London, is an ode to his haunting universe. The B&W pictures were taken in run-down factories in Germany, Poland and England.
At the exhibition, just as with his films, we are surreptitiously transported to another space and time. The feeling may be enhanced by the soundscape he composed and that moves along with us through the room bringing elements of motion, three dimensionality and suspense.
While looking at the prints I remembered my own fascination for such spaces and the imposing shadows they cast. Their rust and abandonment.
The first formal job I held was located in the outskirts of the city. The area is literally called "The industrial zone" and the landscape is dominated by factorie's long tentacles and breath.
Most people would have found it gloom but it was rather interesting to me.
Some of the first charcoal drawings I made are influenced by fumes and smoke.
More or less around the same time; the final year of university, my father gave me a photography book on aspects of life across the vast ex-USSR with larger than life pictures of young punks, working people, life in the city, derelict concrete sites and the inhospitable far away places. Exacerbated nationalism, human struggle, beauty and hope.
And Film was my best buddy along those years.
Days after Lynch's exhibition I visited the Tate Modern in London.
The Tate is situated in a former power station by the Thames Southbank.
The dramatic character of the façade can be seen from far away across the Millennium Bridge and beyond. It's a most perfect sight for art in all its force.
Excerpt from the Photographers Gallery documents cited for this exhibition:
"￼￼I got a taste for a certain kind of architecture and a feeling for machines and smoke and fear. To me, the ideal factory location has no real nature, except winter-dead black trees and oil- soaked earth. Time disappears when I'm shooting in a factory, it's really beautiful".
The London Museum of Design is housing a retrospect on the work of fashion designer Paul Smith.
The first object we encounter as we step into a 3x3 room -the size of his first shop: Paul SmithVetments pour l'Homme, Nottingham 1970- is a black and white portrait of him and his wife Pauline. Underneath which it reads:
"For Pauline, without her this would not have been possible" Paul's signature below.
This sets the tone for an exhibition that feels more like an open house which comes as no surprise upon realisation that Paul co-curated the work, interweaving sources of inspiration throughout his life with the end-products of multifaceted collaborations.
Walls are crammed with framed images of all kinds, portraits, photographs, lithographs, posters, drawings; Paul has always collected images and he took to photography while still very young.
The eclectic display speaks of its author. We see Bowie and Patty Smith more than once, Frida Kahlo, Giacometti at his studio. Also, sketches, pictures from his trips, presents from friends and altogether there's texture, colour, composition, contrast; a myriad of visual information.
If the space were a book, by this stage, we have merely finished the prologue and are about to start the first chapters.
The following rooms are occupied by the fruits of his work. They are not what we would conventionally expect to see at first glance. There isn't (yet) a single garment, cyclist jersey aside. But instead, we find beautiful, desirable objects such as the Leica x2 camera in a glass case or a Stelton bike*
Paul Smith has had a number of creative collaborations with artists like the Talking Heads and David Bowie while his advertising campaigns have been photographed by some of the best: Bailey, Sandro Solano, Julian Broad and Testino.
Eventually, we come across a longitudinal room that exhibits his designs and by this point, it is clear that Paul Smith is a well-rounded designer, a visionary, and a man who draws inspiration from ordinary experiences like delving into markets.
He always has a camera with himself.
His first exhibition was held in a hotel room in Paris. It was comprised of 6 shirts, 2 jumpers and 2 suits and only one person turned up at the end of the day. "That was the beginning of my business"
Need I say anything else? Hanka. London 2014.
* Paul Smith had a bicycle accident when he was aged 17. The title of this blog references this event. More on his biography can be found on the link below. It is worth a read.
SHAPE, SIMPLICITY, PROPORTION
"I hate shops that all look the same. I love individuality"
escribo en Español, mi propia lengua. La de Paco era la guitarra aunque siempre
quiso ser cantante, o mejor dicho, cantaor y cantaba con las cuerdas de su
Escuché su música cantidad de veces y sin embargo ignoraba la biografía maravillosa de sus rasgueos.
leído mucho acerca de Paco de Lucía, justo ahora a su partida. Quizá después nos
encontremos; al final, todos formamos parte de una gran estirpe de gitanos que van y vienen por el mundo, buscando, inventando
historias, haciendo trueque con la vida porque con la muerte no se puede.
Paco vivió una infancia feliz a pesar de las carencias económicas de la familia.
era guitarrista flamenco y le inculcó la disciplina para practicar la guitarra
y la rectitud. Dejó el colegio. Su padre vio que lo suyo era la guitarra y prefirió que le dedicara todo su esmero. Paco practicaba 10 horas a las cuerdas y siendo ya adulto, cuando interpretó el concierto de Aranjuez al lado de Manolo San Lúcar, se enfrentó ante el hecho de que no sabía leer música.
madre, quien dio nombre a la estirpe pues el nombre real de Paco era Francisco Sánchez Gómez, era una morena de origen portugués, sonriente y amorosa, dispuesta a la risa. Esto lo cuenta Paco en un documental que le hicieron en el cual se percibe el gran amor que profesaba a su madre.
llamaba a las músicas de raíz, las músicas de la nevera vacía, haciendo alusión
a las carencias con las que se las apañaron las familias como la de él. Esta descripción me pareció sonora en sí y llena de metáforas.
Lucia zarpó a recorrer camino siendo aún adolescente
y el mundo lo acogió porque era excepcional y porque solo los genios pueden ir ligeros
haber planeado nunca nada, absolutamente nada en su vida, sino que todo le vino
al azar y alcanzó la gloria en vida.
No me parece que sea el azar lo que defina la magnitud de su talento pero se lo concedemos porque seguramente que lo dijo muy convencido, con la sencillez característica de quien no puede ver su propia grandeza.
pienso en la tonadita que Camarón compuso y que juntos tocaron:
solo quiero caminar como corre la lluvia en el cristal, como camina el rio
hacia la mar" ...
Nota final: Lo que he escrito está basado en diversos artículos y reseñas que leí en "El País"; lo mío es un eco ante este acontecimiento.
Hoy quise reflexionar en el vacío de esta gran nevera que es la muerte, ojalá que al menos haya en sus paredes ecos de guitarra.
A few months ago I came across a book called "Paul Smith from A to Z" published by Taschen and I couldn't resist the temptation to copy in my journal the text that Paul dedicated to letter P. It wasn't only the similitude between his wife's name and my own but the candid nature with which Paul writes about his wife…
It seems lucky to discover that the London Museum of Design is housing an exhibition on the work of Paul Smith under the title: "Hello my name is Paul Smith"… I may not have one of his umbrellas to suit the London weather but I will sure make my way to the Design Museum.
The paper used in
this piece is the arts & culture Zürich program for the month of November
It represents my
interest not only in the arts and culture but an increased appeal for paper
observation as one of the first things I took to in the Swiss city.
I enjoy collecting
random paper and publicity.
Switzerland has a
long tradition in Typography.
Take for example
the invention of theHelveticain 1957 by Max Miedinger.
Graphic Design is
also a Swiss forte. It is remarkable how even low budget prints can be visually stunning.
away seems at times hard to do for someone who is highly visual. However, it is
relieving to know that Swiss people are conscientious when it comes to recycling.
As a matter of fact, there is a designated day and way of disposing paper set by
the Cantonal office and people must comply with it if they want to avoid paying
If you walk on
collection day, you will notice the care with which each paper bundle has been
tied and arranged. It could well be an urban art installation .