Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Art and Artistry (Mexico City, Mexico)

At 11 a.m., I meet my friend Art (name has been changed to show that he´s an artist) for coffee. Although Art is quite worldly, he has never been to a Starbucks, so that´s where I take him. He orders a medium latte with caramel syrup. I order a tall shade-grown Mexican (coffee). He samples the raspberry cheesecake and I buy him a slice. I start to tease him about being a Starbucks exvirgin, telling him that I will still respect him in the morning and that it will be better next time. He says it was pretty damned good the first time. We leave, satisfied.

(Note: I am not promoting Starbucks, nor do I suggest that anyone go to another country and eat or drink at any chain restaurant, cafe or fast food outlet from your home country when you should really be eating and drinking at local places, And I don´t even frequent Starbucks that often at home, although I do have a gold card, which I got by going there more often than I care to admit. Anyway, sometimes you just do stuff for friends.)

We go to the Museum of the City of Mexico, one of my favorites. A Mexican impressionist painter, Clausel, had a studio in the attic and painted thousands of tiny portraits, landscapes, monsters, Madonnas and Christs, and animals on the walls, rather than lose or destroy the paint left on his brushes. This time the museum is also displaying the works of French painter (whose name has been omitted because I can´t remember it and) who works in basic and not so basic black.

At first I am, at best, disinterested in the abstract work, but after much discussion with Art (Rule Numero Tres: Always take an articulate, patient, thoughtful artist with you to art exhibits), I start to appreciate the textures, plays of light, and the objects or creatures that my mind conjures up when I gaze at the pieces on display. I end up deciding that I would actually like to add several of the canvases to my imaginary art collection.

Art has to attend a family post-funeral gathering to say goodby to some aunts, who are not the dead people but the people whom he sees every 15 years or so and who are going back home until there´s another death in the family, I guess.

I contnue on to the park where I take my annual dance lesson. But the only instruction is in danzon. I wander around, searching for old friends and finally run into Jose (name remains unchanged for no apparent reason), who gives me the Saturday dance schedule.

I´m baaaaack!

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