A bum day, when your card malfunctions, and lose half a days shoot, but you are in Oaxaca, and people are setting up for the Day of the Dead celebrations. And life goes on. Two folk artists Josefina Aguilar and Jose Garcia Antonio are both facing blindness, but nobly keep working using their fingers in place of their eyes. Their families become there moral support and Maestro Antonio, in particular, works side by side with his lovely wife, both together, but on separate projects.
Josefina’s artwork, which is wonderfully whimsical, are largely dependent on detail and color. Antonio’s have a similarity but the faces remind me of Picasso or Matisse. Some of the modelling on the more realistic pieces are beautifully done, with a sense that it is less folk and more classical. Less decorative, and more indebted to compressed detail and large plain masses.
Zeny and Reyna Fuentes are a wonderful couple who have been plugging at carving and painting some of the most interesting pieces. The fine painting which borders on the Byzantine, but it quite more symbolic, combined with the playful woodcarving, takes folk art into a new 21st century context.
There was even a guitar player and lunch at Zeny’s
Returning back to Oaxaca the beginning of Halloween and thte beginnings of the decoration for Day of the Dead begin. A great way to begin this visit.