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Ambiguity or Whatever
Nov 2nd, 2010 by Les

 The American Trappist Monk Thomas Merton said: “Art enables us to find and lose ourselves at the same time”.
 
“It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.”  Irish Poet Oscar Wilde

“My artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.”  Calvin & Hobbes – a Comic Strip written by Bill Watterson

What is art?  If you asked ten people, at random, what they think art is you will most likely get ten different answers.  Ambiguity, it has struck my befuddled mind, is clusterfied in society’s perception of art.  A lot of people I know approach art with either total abandon wanting merely to be entertained, or a sense of vagueness that transcends the art itself.  I’ve always felt it is a good idea not to take one’s self too seriously.  Granted, it’s hardly likely to happen to me considering my love affair with humor and the absurd.  I believe it was Will Rogers who said something like everything is changing around us. People are taking their comedians seriously and their politicians as a joke.  (Note: Will Rogers was born in 1879 and died in 1935.  Consequently, I feel comfortable picking up on what he said as it was not said recently about our current crop of comedians or politicians.  Though, I often find myself getting them – comedians and politicians – confused.)

As usual, dear reader, I digress.  Ajijic’s Society of the Arts had its first large show of the season on Friday, October 29th at the Ajijic Cultural Center located in the town square.  Artists had been told they could enter two pieces in the art show.  However, the board was informed closer to the date of the show the center had been over-booked and they could only have the second floor of the building, thereby limiting the submittals to one piece.

Artists began bringing their works to the center at 9:00 a.m. on the day the show was to open.  They registered and dropped their pieces off to be set-up by volunteers of the society.  The show was opening at 4:00 p.m. that evening and would run for a week.

David’s piece (photographs below) was sold prior to the doors to the show having been opened!  What a delightful surprise.  David is an absolutely wonderful photographer and we are all very proud of him.  It is a piece he had spent endless hours first capturing then working on in his studio.  It was one of his first large format pieces and he had taken it to a gentleman named Conrad, in Chapala, to have it and another piece specially framed.  Conrad is an artist and an architect.  He did a phenomenal job and, when we picked the piece up from his shop we were both truly pleased with his work.

We went to the show together that evening.  It was well run, the art was wonderfully presented and many seemed to be enjoying the evening immensely.

Quite honestly I am often utterly bewildered by “art”.  It can certainly be said I have an unsophisticated feel for art.  Don’t get me wrong, it is not so much parochial in nature, as I enjoy all types of art, I simply do not have a background in any form of art to even call myself somewhat conversant in the subject.  I do however enjoy going to art shows, gallery openings, art expos, etc.  If you are a people watcher all things “art” are great venues for you to hone your skills.

I do, however, know what I like in art though I cannot find rhyme or reason as to why…it simply catches my eye or some other sense and I’m drawn to it.  The intimacy of art, to me, comes from the fact that it is between the person viewing it and that piece.  While several others may be standing around oohing and aahing about it each is seeing it through their own eyes, mind and heart.

Let’s face it; a painter can color the grass purple because they know it’s green.  The rest of us must color the grass green or people might think we’ve been hitting the funny brownies too hard.

There are many galleries; restaurants hang local artists’ works regularly, shows featuring different types of art etc in the Lake Chapala area.  With all the beauty of Mexico surrounding the artists here, is it any wonder art is alive and well in Ajijic Mexico?  I lose and find myself (thank goodness) on a daily basis here in Mexico and consider myself very fortunate to do so.  Viva Mexico!

David and his art.

David and his art.

Photos taken at the opening of the exhibit.

Photos taken at the opening of the exhibit.

The exhibit is in three different rooms within the cultural center.  This room is beautifully lit through lovely french doors.

The exhibit is in three different rooms within the cultural center. This room is beautifully lit through lovely french doors.

The next few photographs are of the Ajijic Cultural Center itself.

This mural is on the ceiling of the stairwell of the building.  It leads to several showrooms on the second floor and a teaching area on the third floor.

This mural is on the ceiling of the stairwell of the building. It leads to several showrooms on the second floor and a teaching area on the third floor.

More of th mural on the walls and ceiling surrounding the stairwell.

More of the mural on the walls and ceiling surrounding the stairwell.

The view from the stairs showing the gallery on the second level with the studio on the third level.

The view from the stairs showing the gallery on the second level with the studio on the third level.

This is the section of the mural highlighting Ajijic.  It shows the ancient spelling of the word Ajijic.

This is the section of the mural highlighting Ajijic. It shows the ancient spelling of the word Ajijic.

This photograph is taken on the ground floor of the cultural center in the stair well directly behind the stairs leading to the second and third floors.

This photograph is taken on the ground floor of the cultural center in the stair well directly behind the stairs leading to the second and third floors.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos.  David’s latest piece exhibiting now at the Ajijic Society of the Arts show can be seen more closely when you visit the online store.

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