With all the decisions I have made in my time, one of the best was to move to the island of Cozumel. I’ve had the opportunity to explore ancient ruins, walk on beautiful beaches, wander through open air markets, and check out the lively nightlife. But, this time I had a yearning for a bit of culture and, as luck would have it, I have made a new friend who knew exactly where I could go. The Casa de la Cultura, located on Benito Juarez and 50 ave., is a haven for the artist in all of us. It is where to go for plays, workshops, concerts, and art exhibitions for those days when just a bit of culture is what we are craving.
Yesterday I explored their newest art show, “Mar Nuestro,” which was full of creative examples from local artists. I won’t be able to list all their names, but here’s just a sampling of those whose works I was able to enjoy: Alberran, Bulas, Canto, Carcamo, Mari, and Petit de Murat. All the contributing artists are from here, and all of the pieces displayed were their interpretations of “Mar Nuestro,” or, in translation, “Our Sea.” As I walked around I saw paintings, miniature sculptures, and one eclectic combination that just made me smile. It was going to be a good morning.
After a short time I realized that not only were the art pieces for sale, but they were incredibly affordable. At first, when I looked at prices such as $850, or $8,500, I assumed that they were in U.S. dollars. Most art exhibits are typically so far out of my range that I resign myself to that “you can look, but you certainly can’t touch” attitude. But, when I realized the prices were in pesos I began to look a lot more closely. I’m almost at that point where I can start searching for the artwork that will help my apartment to feel more like a home. And these were prices I could afford, mostly, and still be able to pay my rent. So, needless to say, I got a bit more excited.
It didn’t hurt that my friend is also an artist since it made for interesting discussions, comparisons, and opinions. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one who will stand in front of a Jackson Pollock and quote Nietzsche’s “one must still have chaos………to give birth to a dancing star.” That last part is a true story, by the way. You see, it’s not that I can’t enjoy a Pollock, but having once lived in New York, where I visited many galleries, I’ve had the displeasure to hear the black clad pontificate (sorry, the only word that comes to mind). Usually, when that would begin, I’d start to smile, than giggle and would have to just walk away. But, thankfully, yesterday’s conversation didn’t go that route. We just talked about the colors, reality vs. surrealism, the choice of frames, or whether or not we just plain liked something. I was relieved.
One thing that I was nervous about, though, was borrowing someone’s camera. I have my eye on a beauty with all the bells and whistles I could ask for, but I need to budget and had already sold mine to help get me started. Now I don’t usually use any type of Photoshop tricks, but I was glad to discover that my computer has a built in photo program. Let’s just say that some of my photos yesterday were not meant for public viewing. But, I was able to compensate, I think. I guess I’m just hoping that I did them justice.
We spent quite a bit of time on the first floor, but, eventually, wandered upstairs to see the rest. Now, I’m not sure of the particular order of the pieces, but there were great examples of interpretation in both places. However, just in case there was a reason for the order, let me point out that I’ve just displayed them here in a way that I liked, not necessarily in accordance to the exhibit itself. And, due to my experimenting with a new camera, I have often left out the frames that they all possessed. It seems that I now have the occasional difficulty with getting the straightest, clearest shots, especially when using a digital that I have to hold out in front of me. But, my friend was patient, which was a good thing since I needed to take most of the shots more than once.
After wandering the hall upstairs we came back down and I started to look a bit more at the pieces that seemed to be tucked away. There were a few almost hidden under the stairs and I really liked the theme of one of them. A painting of an angelic woman reaching upwards caught my eye. It took me a while to get the pic I wanted because the skin tones were lovely. I made a few comments about it and then my friend smiled. It turned out to be one of his, which made me glad that I’d noticed it. That could have been awkward.
After that I looked around and realized how much I’d missed. Although the exhibit wasn’t particularly large, I can tend to get so focused on one thing that I miss a lot of what else is around me. I took the camera back out and saw that there was a woman’s face over there, a cross made of metal over that way, and a piece that actually did remind me, just a bit, of Pollock after all. I had to smile since that is one artist that I can, as mentioned before, appreciate, but don’t understand. Still, it was a great piece and had a flow to it that reminded me of waves in the sunset. Maybe I could quote Nietzsche after all? No, a few fun sculptures caught my eye before I could start and I began to work with angles to see how I could photograph them since they were under glass. Thankful for the glass doors that allowed natural light I didn’t have to worry about using a flash and got a few snapshots of them as well. They were just fun to look at, as an adult anyway. Not sure they should sit on a child’s nightstand, but that’s just me.
Well, after about an hour it was time to head home. I did my usual last walk around and grabbed a couple more pics before we left. I also made a point of writing down the names of the artists whose work I enjoyed the most. When interpretive beauty is affordable, I just know I’ll want a few pieces from those artists in the future. Still, since I am on a budget, I’ll get that camera I need first. Then, maybe, I can really show works such as these in the best possible manner. Meanwhile, it was a great morning and I want to thank you for coming along. Salud!
Oh, and I’d like to mention that the times for this exhibit are 9-1 and 4-7, for about six more weeks, check it out!