25th September: On our last day in Oaxaca we loped around the streets marvelling at all the amazing buildings and ate way too much food ……again. Great galleries here and some incredibly designed restaurants. So many tourists visit Mexico just for the beaches but they miss out on driving inland to see the mountain ranges and the great cities this country has to offer.
Dropped in to the art gallery to see an exhibition called Serie En Riesgo by the Mexican artist Fernando Aceves Humana. Pretty amazing stuff – a series of paintings of monkeys in apocalyptic style settings, very dark canvases wherein the subject matter was picked out in almost luminous golden colours. One room held around 6 large canvases and was completely dark apart from a few directed spotlights centred on each canvas but covered in black paper pinpricked to allow a small amount of light to shine on the subject matter of each canvas. I have never seen an exhibition lit like this before; genius. It gave an atmosphere of walking through a nightmare and the subject of each canvas seemed to glow. A fantastic artist and brilliantly displayed.
After a quick trip to one of the markets to stock up on some pots of roja and negra mole (famous hot paste pronounced molay made from approx 45 different spices) and some local bitter chocolate we met Roberto for even more food and then hung out at the trendy restaurant/bar Los Danzantes for cocktails.
They have a great painting on display by Mexican artist Rauol Herrera which I could look at for hours – it makes me think of the Paul Theroux novel Mosquito Coast which was set in the jungle of Honduras. If I was an accomplished art thief I would sneak in at night and nick it. I feel like I am in that lush tropical jungle in its suffocating heat when I look at it….we have been to this particular restaurant several times now and always sit in the same place!
Sitting on the table next to us was a group of Mexican photographers preparing for a lecture this evening at the Photography Museum. We got talking with them and on their recommendation went to the museum to see the exhibitions. It turned out that one of them who we met again later is a well known Mexican photographer called Antonio Turok whose latest work was on display in the museum. It’s pretty powerful imagery and we would have loved to have bought some prints. I have added him to my list of Mexican photographers that I find inspiring; also check out Graciela Iturbide – pronounced E-tur-be-day – (whose work I saw on display in the Getty museum in Los Angeles 18 months ago) and Flor Garduno.
Back in the room feeling knackered – just packed most of our stuff up ready for our early morning flight to Cancun tomorrow. Roberto will leave us there and head back to Tulum; we have 2 nights in Cancun back on the beach before flying to New York to stay with Kat and Jon and catch up with our friend Quique. 3 days after that and we will be back in London and back to reality.
Already dreaming about a trip to the Middle East or to Namibia next year if we can get it together…but first we need to buy somewhere to live and get our stuff out of storage which has been there for 2 years this November. The Nomad life has suited us so far….would be bloody great if we can keep it going in some way!