Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things To Do Before You Die..........

Most of us expatriates are going to die soon. Probably sooner than our grandchildren and probably not as soon as supercentanarian Bessie Cooper. So before you die there are a few things you ought to do. Here's a few of them essential tasks that will make your remaining years more fulfilled:

Go Yak Skiing
Take a night time tour of a Rio slum
Give Donald Trump a haircut
Become a vagrant
Get a job and get off unemployment benefit for the first time in your life
Have a slap fight with a bear
Go partake in a G20 riot
Paint your house like grass so no one knows where to go to visit you ever again
Establish an anarchic state
or visit La Luna Studio for the Found Art Exhibition or Transformations before it finishes soon.

This latest exhibition comes in two flavours as it were - overwhelming and underwhelming, overstated and understated, brazen and intimate and any other antonym around that idea you care to think of. Lanny Garland, visiting artist from  Patzcuaro, Jack de Vore and the rest of the La Luna pack. 

MazReal staff would generally try and find a way to blag themselves into any opening shindig whether it be the opening occasion of a envelope or a racehorse stud mating viewing as long as there is free booze but this time they did not send representatives to the opening night as there were more important things to do in touring the globe looking for that perfect massage and street ear cleaning experience. However our man eventually found his way to La Luna Contemporáneo at 1121 Niños Héroes.

First the overwhelming, overstated, brazen, amplified, imposing art.

Walk in off the street and this cheap critic was immediately blown back into the street again by the Patzcuaro visiting artist's imagination run riot with symbols of Mexicana and ancient tribes. Sacrifice and ceremony. Masks and colourful robes stiff like samurai armour, crazy turquoise chickens pecking corn down near the window, shrunken heads, a bull head with gold tipped horns and dangly earrings and above the door a male deer with antlers and gold trimmings. I would love to enter this man's mind in a little submersible craft and while away a few hours watching his cogs moving and producing. A drive-in film theatre of his thoughts projected on the back of his brain pan.

Where would you hang Garland's work if you bought it? Unless you had a Hearst House, a Getty House, a Queen Elizabeth II house or lived in the British Museum with a big spotlight to highlight it those'll be the places. But as this critic lives in a hole in the middle of Calle Aleman with three other interlopers I'd choose one of the other artists on show here.

Move further in and you feel a certain relief to be with the local artists' more intimate works. Works that you can lean into and study. These pieces caught my eye.

Mark R Jay's 'Douthitt Diaphragm-control Corporation Series 4L2' camera lens (Christ only knows where he unearthed that piece of kit) with dangling lens cap. A piece entitled  'the camera loves you'.  Press your face close and you can see yourself in the lens. Unfortunately no camera loves me so it was a worthless exercise. Next to it was a piece suggesting that '.....and after a little while his heart was full' , illustrated with what looks like a silver christening spoon and pottery container hanging from a piece of string from a rusty nail over a block of wood all underneath a cute silver heart. I love the components that make up this art work but if I bought it I would not be able to contain the urge to disassemble it and use the bowl and spoon for serving rock salt at a meal and hang them back when finished like when you hang pots in your kitchen. A usable artwork. An interactive artwork where I would hang them in different positions thereby creating my own piece of art every time I served salt. Thumbs up to Mark R Jay.

As you can see they got my imagination working and philosophising which should be the aim of art.

the camera loves you.

Follow onto the equally imaginative intimate works of Lucila Santiago - 'Acantilados, Tiempo Solidificado, and Flor de asfalto'. Lovely pieces from wood, oil, copper, steel, marble, gold leaf and my favourite of her's 'Candado Africano', a bird of wood, paper, ink and golf leaf. (A work that some other person has snapped up and red-dotted before this internationally celebrated critic had had a chance to purchase and place on his extensive wall covered in famous pieces.) 

Candado Africano

Back on yourself to Dave Robb's humorous graphic collages of newsprint covering table settings and a very nice 'Early Bird' rooster with a great haughty expression as roosters do. I'll have this one, it'll make me smile whenever I'd look at it. Reminding me of the Ottoman Grand Vizier  Seljuk Sultinate of Rüm

Early Bird

and  in the small backroom is to be found the always interesting and amusing Nan Robb exhibits. This time amongst others from her a little fat pink clay man with a green butterfly on his chest (to me they looked like a pair of green lungs hanging outside his body but on closer inspection I saw the butterfly) and red cheeks standing arms at his side one foot slightly backwards and small penis sticking forwards with fleshy worms radiating outwards inside a semicircular frame. He is 'Butterfly Man' in mixed media his visage conveying perplexity as his life is sucked out of him by those fleshy worms. Wish MazReal paid us fine writers a wage or even cigarette money (we gotta pay them cheap-skate bastards for the privilege!) 

Otherwise I would buy this one like a shot.

Other works - 

Glen Rogers' painted tinaco cover shield looking good in the sun bright setting. Wish I could do that with my tinaco lid, if I could find the damn thing. Some even cheaper-skate stole it and that was without a famous artist painting it. I reckon he came here saw this artwork and the price, climbed over the adjacent roofs and filched my lid with the hope he could sell it unpainted at Juarez Market for a tidy sum. Next to it  a piece entitled 'Pajaro' with lots of movement but it reminds me of an octopus swimming up the wall.

 Carlos Z's metal exhibit and Jack de Vore's often witty surreal pieces including 'Julia Childs Meets Georgia O'keefe'. Nice piece but haven't clue what the title is about - metaphorical one-liners obviously.

Judging by this latest exhibition from The La Luna Art Pack and visitors it seems that other Mazatlán art galleries will have to put in a lot of work and imagination if they want to catch up with what La Luna Contemporáneo is coming up with. Onwards and Upwards.

Actually what a day out it would be to sit in the collective brain pan of all these artists and watch an electrical synaptic movie of their imaginations at work. I could stay the whole show.

(For more pictures of the exhibition opening bash go here)

© MazReal 2011

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