Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thinking about Art

I was in the Mayaguez Mall the other day (probably getting cat food again) when I came across a scattering of artists showing their work. A friend in my old photography group had just posted something about a guy who traveled around in a van showing different artwork as kind of a mobile artmobile-gallery-show in an effort to engage people. A flood of memories came over me about my years selling my photography at art fairs, gallery shows etc etc. As usual there were some not-so-good things (most) and some jewels. This is the first time I saw something I really liked! What made it even better is that the artist spoke English (not so common in our part of PR) and proceeded to explain that he used archival materials and things I of course used to use too. When I told him I knew all about that stuff we talked for a while about where he got his frames and acid free foam board etc. On the island there aren't any Daniel Smiths or art supply stores and shipping is super expensive. I sold my mat cutter and all my paper supplies before moving since this climate isn't good for that sort of thing. I ended up purchasing a couple pieces. The artist's name is Dennis Bracero Pabon and he lives in Cabo Rojo. When I saw this piece I at first thought of the opening of a cave. When I looked closer I saw three profiles and looking even closer I saw that they were the 3 Kings! The 3 Kings are a huge part of Puerto Rico...bigger than Christmas! Around this time of year the platforms go up in the malls and the camels and kings are having kids sit on their laps etc. Of course Santa has his rival set -up elsewhere. I like this piece because it is understated and surprised me. I really enjoy art. Whenever we travel I try to find something I think represents the area we are visiting so it was about time I got something here. The piece is a small, private piece and the Kings are not screaming out "I am here" which is part of why I like it. It is also painted on a feather, which is yet another surprise about this little piece.

A while ago I let my website disappear. I didn't know how to add to it since all my computer friends are in the states and frontpage isn't supported anymore. Also some of my external drives are corrupted I think and I have a myriad of other obstacles and lack of desire. Until now. Now I am wanting to be around artists again and may get my land camera fixed (I took my good one into a cave and now it doesn't work) and may consider getting a digital camera and housing for underwater. Here is one of my photographs of a coralimorph I took in Saint Croix. I may have Dennis frame a print for me so I can have some of my art hanging in the new house. I am picking up the other art I bought from Dennis next week and hope to continue to work on establishing a friend network here. It is always hard to make friends but when language is a barrier and there are no real ways to make connections it is even harder. Artists though always end up in the same circles eventually!

As usual I can't resist throwing a cat into the blog. Tuca, the one-who-likes-to-burrow, is under the cat beds. Hysterical!

So a big thanks to Craig for getting me thinking about art again and to Dennis for showing some pretty nice work. I am looking forward to the other piece which is a painting of a paloma (dove), and a graphic rooftop with some Taino designs on it. Think about art and surround yourself with it - it makes life better! Art can be flat (paintings, photographs, drawings etc) or can manifest itself in handcrafted jewelry, metal work, stone, bone etc. Really take some time to look at and appreciate art when you can find it!


Fran and Steve said...

When I go to street fairs and see artisans' work, I am so tired of seeing the overdone, in-your-face 3 Kings everywhere, usually amateurish work as well. (I miss Second Saturdays --gallery hopping and wine tasting-- in Sacramento.) With so many inspirations on this beautiful island, you'd think they'd get more creative. With that said, the piece you got is a beautiful representation of local culture, unique, and as you pointed out understated. Yes, there are some jewels out there. (No hate commenters, please, I realize there's a lot more to my native PR than good art work, and I intend to stay here.)--Fran

Rosa said...

I have something like that too, it was done on a feather and it is of the Old San Juan...we love it.