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Ajijics Bohemia
April 28th, 2010 by Les

“It was a day as different from other days as dogs are from cats and both of them from chrysanthemums or tidal waves or scarlet fever.”  Hamptons Bohemia – written by Helen Harrison and Constance Ayers Denne

My mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.” Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.

Where to begin?  This tiny village is many things, raucous, enchanting, lovely and loud.  It is full of life somewhat exaggerated and certainly more intense then a sleepy New England town.  Most everyone arrives via the Carretera and you find it bustling with life.  Turning down any of the tiny streets will instantly take you back to the slightest glimpse of what it might have been like 50 or 60 years ago.  The old mixed in with the new.  Mexican in flavor with a dash of European, a touch of Canadian, a smidge of American joined together to create a feeling of marvel of what was, what is, what might be.

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind (thank you DA).

Oh yes…artists.  David’s uncle, James Brooks, was an American muralist, abstract painter and winner of the Logan Medal of the Arts. Brooks was a friend of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner on Eastern Long Island.  If you grab a copy of the book mentioned above “Hamptons Bohemia” you will learn a lot about the Hamptons and its artist colony.

I bring this up because it has a lot to do with who David is.  He comes by his artistic bent, his ability to capture things most of us miss, on film, by way of genetics…of a sort and a love of his art form.

The other day, as we were returning from the mundane but necessary chore of grocery shopping we ran into the lady who runs “Manhattan” – our local Blue Bell Ice Cream connection.  Rosalia stopped to chat and we were to find out she and her husband, Stefano Quaiotti, lived in our home before we occupied it.  He’s the one who set up the studio that David and I fell in love with. 

In the course of our conversation Rosalia said her husband was opening up “another” gallery in Ajijic…..he has galleries in Guadalajara, and a few other cites throughout Mexico.  I mentioned David’s photography and she said they’d love to do a show of his works at her husband’s gallery sometime.  (We tentatively set it up for October, in case anyone is interested in attending.) 

We stopped in last week to purchase our fix of Blue Bell and Stefano happened to be there.  He and David hit it off immediately and Stefano asked David if he would be able to take some pictures of his art (he is an abstract painter) that would truly capture their beauty and style.  Of course he can.  A date was set for this past Monday and David and I (I’m the schleper in the program) arrived at the gallery at 1:00 p.m.

We spent the next four hours with David working and me taking pictures of the two of them talking, laughing and enjoying the whole experience.  What a wonderfully entrancing day.

Stefano was born in Venice, Italy and migrated to Mexico in his early 20’s.  He has shown his work in Europe, South America and Mexico (as far as I could tell).  He has a show coming up in Nayarit (near Puerta Viarta) on June the 6th.  The show is entitled “El Punto Mas Alto” (The Highest Point).  He is a very quiet and soft spoken man who explained he met Rosalia here and has remained because he loves her and he loves Mexico.  His style is European (self-described), he was born Italian and his heart is Mexican.

Let me ask you, where could you go and bump into someone like this in search of ice cream….okay – maybe NY or Paris or Madrid ….alright a lot of places.  But did you expect it in little Ajijic?!  Another good reason to spend your time in this never endingly fascinating Lake Chapala area.  Viva Mexico.

Aviv Artes Studio in Ajijic

Aviv Artes Studio in Ajijic

The artists in conversation.

The artists in conversation.

Where to begin.

Where to begin.

A passtionate artist full of warmth and humor.

A passtionate artist full of warmth and humor.

Just the right angle and light play a significant role.

Just the right angle and light play a significant role.

Help moving the larger works to areas with better light.

Help moving the larger works to areas with better light.

Lots of activity and excitment.

Lots of activity and excitment.

The last of seven prints takes a little more time as the painting is behind glass and reflects light.

The last of seven prints takes a little more time as the painting is behind glass and reflects light.


3 Responses  
  • Joe & Jan Ritchie writes:
    April 30th, 201012:54 pmat

    Don’t you guys agree that Stefano looks like another artist, Jonathan Winters?

  • Sandy writes:
    April 28th, 20107:51 pmat

    OMG, this place is sooo for me. Thank you for letting me see it through your’s and David’s eyes.

    Love,

    Sandy

  • Joan writes:
    April 28th, 20105:44 pmat

    Every time I read one of your posts I spend the next few hours trying to figure out how I can get to Lake Chapala this fall instead of the fall of 2011. You attention to the details and love of life make it so appealing.


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