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Good Heavens..Is That Art?
Dec 15th, 2010 by Les

 Tallulah Bankhead was heard to comment: “The less I behave like Whistler’s mother the night before, the more I look like her in the morning!” (American actress, talk show host and bonne vivante.)
 
“Men live by intervals of reason under the sovereignty of humor and passion.”  Sir Thomas Browne, English Author

Reason you say? Give me the sovereignty of humor and passion any day.  Why, you may ask (unless you’ve read the lunacy of my blog before)? Because with it goes the excitement of feeling your heart beat faster, hearing your breath become strong and your laughter filling the quiet void.

I distinctly remember my mother mentioning how, on one of her first dates with my dad he took her to an art gallery.  He had wanted to impress her with his international flare and, being a Welshman, he thought what could possibly go wrong if they drove into Chicago and visited one of the city’s many art galleries.  This was in the early 1940’s when Cubism and Surrealism were just hitting the states after being on the forefront of art in Europe.  Social realism and regionalism had dominated the American art scene since the 30’s.  Modernism had not yet arrived.

Imagine his surprise when, thinking the Art Institute of Chicago would be the perfect venue to impress her with his expertise, he found, upon their arrival, the institute was presenting a salute to Pinup Girls.  The pinups were lovely, according to my mom, but neither was prepared for the very large Red Headed Girl Nude called “Sitting Pretty” gracing the entrance to the show.  If I remember correctly, that was the last time my dad went to a gallery anywhere as he said re-living the embarrassment of that date soured him to the whole experience.  I secretly believe, though he didn’t plan it, that encounter gave him a REASON not to go to any further art presentations.

Sorry for the agonizingly long intro to art in Ajijic.  I am not an artist nor am I an educated coinsurer of art of any kind.  I enjoy going to shows as I feel I learn something each and every time I attend.  Now, with David involved in the Ajijic Society of the Arts, I’m enjoying attending shows and being able to watch as other people stroll through the various galleries, walk the plaza, or visit one of the larger art shows such as the one presented a few weeks ago, here in Ajijic, by a gentleman named Rainer.

It seems quite obvious to me the populace in the Chapala area take art seriously.  Nationals and visitors alike have no problem spotting what strikes their fancy.  That is to say there are a lot of opportunities for displaying different forms of art and learning or experimenting with an art form you’ve longed to try at one time or another in your life.  Classes in most every art form are available no matter if you are a novice or a life-long hobbyist, someone who has pursued an art form since childhood or are simply taking it up at this very moment

You will find very many diverse types of arts as well as artists and, of course those of us who haven’t a clue what art is or, for that matter, isn’t as this atmosphere allows us to expand our knowledge and appreciation of same.  For me I think art is subjective.  By that I mean I have a somewhat slanted view of what I consider art.  Logic (something I’ve never been accused of having a lot of) is the art of, for instance, commenting on a piece of art with confidence when someone has not a clue as to what the artist may have been going for. On the other hand I’ve noticed, by sitting quietly by as I watch my husband, the resident artist in our household, chat with people about his work, many people have attained what I would consider the pinnacle of art consumption – that of remaining unbiased when viewing all types of art.  Simply reveling in the art of the moment, shall we say?

Below are a few photos I took of David at Rainer’s art show.  It was both an exhausting and wonderful three days.  Lots of effort was put into pulling this show together and many fine artists shared their works with those who attended.

As we were preparing to leave on the first day of the show I overhead someone say to his wife: “Good heavens, is that art?” To which she replied: “No dear, I believe it is an assemblage of garbage in a rather attractive receptacle.”  She was correct, of course, it was in fact a lovely metal container – bronze in color, which had overflowed with various “throw aways” that had somehow found its way to a location where a spotlight gently fell upon it giving it a glorious abstract look.  I too thought it looked grand and wondered if the lady had been mistaken.  She wasn’t.  The empty container was in place the next morning when we arrived.  And again I say, Viva Mexico!

Notes: If plan on visiting the Chapala area or live here and would like to hear of upcoming art shows, please email David at david@boomerstomexico.com and he will put you on his email list.

I would also like to thank those of you who stopped at the Rainerr show a few weeks ago and last Sunday’s art show on the plaza to say you enjoy our boomers blog.  It was great hearing from you!

Okay, so this is an auspicious way to begin the show….we had to laugh. In the brochure handed out to all who attended the art show David was listed as “Perry, David Lawrence”. I know I’ve screwed up more Mexican names then I care to mention.

Let the show begin. Smiling artist in residence.

View number one of our kiosk.

View number two of our kiosk.

Angel

A nitch angel above the entrance to a beautiful home in west Ajijic.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos. 

When in Doubt, Mumble
Dec 7th, 2010 by Les

One of my favorite Douglas Adams quotes: “Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know.  Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about.  Amen” (From “Mostly Harmless”)
 
“When I was born I was so surprised I didn’t talk for a year and a half!”  Gracie Allen (American comedian and film actress)

I don’t know however mumbling has always worked for me.  That particular axiom has proved immensely handy on so many occasions.  It works almost as well as smiling broadly while listening to David trying to explain himself to someone here in Mexico.  What usually happens is they stand there and politely listen and then, though obviously happy he is at the very least attempting to speak the language, respond in English.  The key is to at least “try”!

Which brings me to my disjointed thoughts for today….as I mentioned many times living in the Village of Ajijic affords us many opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture of the moment that one may not always have the change to experience in one of the lovely gated communities.  Again, as I’ve mentioned before, there are so many choices in regard to not only the type of home you might want to lease or purchase, there are choices in regard to the noise content of the neighborhood, as well.

We have specifically chosen to live in one of the possibly noisiest areas of Ajijic.  Also, as mentioned many times before, we are on “parade route central”.  The other day I was talking to my daughter on the phone when I heard the sounds of skyrockets being shot into the air.  I immediately walked out onto our porch so that she could hear the sound of the rockets (thereby proving I did not make up the fact that our neighbors shoot off rockets as various times throughout the course of the day…especially during festivals).  She was laughing at the noise when suddenly the sounds of band music came tumbling over our gate.  Her first remark – are you standing on the street – was answered by David hurtling himself out our front door, camera in hand, heading for our front gate to catch a picture of the unseen band before it moved on.

And here is where the story begins:

David put one foot out the door and found himself standing right in the middle of the band!  They had stopped to play a few tunes directly in front of our gate.  Needless to say, but say it I will, the volume was pretty high.  However, he was soon to find out not as “high” as some of the people following the band.

David felt a tap on his shoulder.  He turned to see who it was and was greeted by a rather portly gentleman sporting a long ponytail, tie-dyed shirt, cut off shorts and sandals with socks all the while gyrating to the beat of the band.  A big grin spread across his face and he shouted (this is the unabridged version): “This is hot shit, man!” over and over again.  Just as David focused on the hippie version of the 1960’s beatnik from Greenwich Village, the band headed down the street and he missed his opportunity to capture a picture of this happy soul.

However, it turned out the band was circling our block and would appear, several minutes later, on our doorstep yet again.  This time there was a happy bloke, Tequila bottle in hand, dancing up a storm and David did manage to get him on film.

Below you will see the “La Banda Incomparable de Ajijic Jalisco” having a great time sharing their talent with anyone who happened to be out and about on this particular sunny and warm Mexican morning in late November.  Viva, Mexico!

Let the gaiety begin.

The flute section.

Ingenious music holders, unless the person ahead of you falls out of line.

A touch of humor.

And more humor....

It takes a lot of muscle to carry this tuba, keep in step and not stumble over the cobblestones.

Our neighbor, Roberto, enjoying the music and dancing.

Nimble footed dancer.

Another great dance move. Ahh, to dance with such abandon!

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© Copyright 2009-2011 David and Les Lawrence, Ajijic, Mexico