Sunday, September 20, 2009

Una Canción para Capula...A Song for Capula

Capula isn't the prettiest town I visit in Michoacán. Although it is surrounded by lush green hills during the rainy season, it isn't next to the Lake i.e. Patzcuaro, the plaza is not at all charming, and there's no place to eat while you're there. But we always spend a lot of time in Capula, because what it does have is a helluva lot of amazing art. Like these skeletons, calacas, or calaveras-- whatever you want to call them, by the master artisan, Alvaro de la Cruz. They are also known as Catrinas, but a Catrina is really a female skeleton in a fancy dress with a big hat with flowers and feathers.(I'll write more in my next post about her.) Capula, in case you didn't know, is not only a historic pottery village, but the capital of Mexico's clay catrinas. This year there were a lot of skeleton musicians for sale in Capula's artisan cooperative, and they were very, very cool. Like this mariachi woman on the right, and the cute little trio below on the left.

We also found some fantastic new calavera artisans this year, most notably Marcos Perez, a young guy who makes beautiful, extremely detailed black We also found some fantastic new calavera artisans this year, most notably Marcos Perez, a young guy who makes beautiful, extremely detailed black skeleton women. The indigenous woman below (often called a guarecita) is an example of just one we brought back to sell. Click on the photo and check out the hair and details on the clothing. Amazing!
And we also bought some fabulous pottery by my new favorite artisan couple, Demetrio and Raquel Gonzales. I discovered them in April, and was only able to bring back two pieces at that time. They have created some beautiful dishes and serving pieces with their lead-free glazes, and I am excited to share their work with you. (Demetrio is pictured below).

Please email or visit us at: for more information about our recent arrivals and upcoming sales events.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Magnificant Murals of Mexico

It was quite amusing to hear Glenn Beck trying to dredge up the old controversy about Diego Rivera's mural at Rockefeller Center. I don't know if you even paid attention to the idiot, but his rant made me think of the wonderful times I personally have spent in front of Rivera's murals, and wish that everyone could have the pleasure. Last year, I saw that very mural, "Man at the Crossroads", in its reconstructed location at Bellas Artes in Mexico City. I also got to see the amazing, Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda) at the Museo Mural Diego Rivera, a museum in the center of Mexico City which is entirely devoted to that mural and where one can sit on comfy couches and take it all in at one's leisure. That's the mural that features Frida Kahlo among numerous notable characters, along with the imaginary image created by Jose Guadalulpe Posada of La Catrina.

But one doesn't have to go to Mexico City to see amazing murals. One of my favorite places to take tourists in Morelia is the Palacio del Gobierno where Alfredo Zalce's murals cover the stairway (right) and practically the entire second floor...all a beautifully done history of Mexico, with special emphasis on Morelia, his birthplace. Above is part of the scene showing the Purepecha or Tarascan people in Michoacán.

If you go to Patzcuaro, you definitely have to check out the amazing Juan O'Gorman mural inside the public library off of the Plaza Chica.

For photos and more details of that:

I also enjoy seeing the stunning mosaic mural in the indigenous village of Santa Fe de la Laguna pictured above. It cries, "This community has said, enough!"
As we experience the racist, anti-immigrant, and all around hateful fear-mongering from the wing nuts on the right, I believe we all need to be shouting, ENOUGH!

For more images of murals and paintings by Rivera and Zalce: