Day 13: Santa Fe
20 Oct 2008 -- Some people in New Mexico might exhaust themselves by hiking in the mountains – we do it by marching from gallery to gallery. Today we bravely took on Canyon Road, “the art and soul of Santa Fe.” This district contains some of the toniest and serious galleries in the area – well over a hundred packed in along a few quiet blocks (if you stood still for a moment, you could hear crickets chirping… ah, nature…).
There is no order to the type of gallery. Native American next to Contemporary Abstract next to Traditional Oil Landscapes next to Russian Emigre Painting next to Jewelry, etc. So, being “systematic” (up one side of the street, then down the other) means deliberately exposing yourself to dizzying chaos. It required both of us taking doses of ibuprofen for our old feet, plus an early lunch and a late lunch.
By the time we began to skip galleries, it was clear what we preferred. The brilliant landscapes started looking the same. The patterns and shapes of the elegant pots started looking the same. Russians, fuhgetaboudit. But we were still pulled into the wild mixed media, sort of tribal, symbolic, crazy paintings, collages, assemblages and sculptures. Wow. Folk art, too – though there wasn’t much here. Our favorite was Pachamama, which was full of mystical old Latin American rosaries, amulets, and other folk art. I could have easily spent a fortune there, but then I realized: we have closets and shelves full of this kind of stuff – why not just appreciate what we have.
No photos today, just a cartoon of Zuzu being full of herself.
From my handwritten journal:
This Zuzu landscape (left) was frustrating. After days of looking at folk art vs landscapes, maybe I need to concentrate on building the mystical component of my work. I am impatient with the skills required to invoke a landscape. I prefer covering drawings with smbols.
So -- suddenly Zuzu is copping an attitude -- high priestess, top o' the totem pole. Forget the fucking landscapes and go for the MAGIC. I like my "Tintin" version of Zuzu with her blowing coat.
Reading: Vernacular Visionaries: International Outsider Art by Carlano, et al. (2003). Is Zuzu the prophet? to be "admired and feared"?