Sorry for the lapse, but I literally was in the jungle. More on that later, but I wanted to finish up my last day in Mexico City, as it was filled with Design and beautiful things.
I started my day at the Luis Barragan Museum. He was a genius of proportion and color, and it was inspiring to see the work in person. I also found out that he was a “confirmed bachelor.” I was only allowed to take a few pictures - this image is of the roof where he would go and contemplate the heavens.
I was most struck by his manipulation of light. The complex hue in the stairwell leading to the roof is created when light passes through yellow glass and an orange door. The house is massive and one could easily imagine oneself living there. It is not cold or academic, it’s a living beauty.
My second stop was the Gilardi House. Another Barragan creation, designed for another “confirmed bachelor,” photographer friend. There are pics of them hanging out with David Hockney. The couple that owns it now gives tours, and inherited it with all the furnishings. The pool in the dining room is just spectacular – like a painting of light and color.
Then I went with my new friend, Cornelia Hentschel, a fellow workshop leader, for an amazing bowl of Pozole at a restaurant I found on www.culinarybackstreets.com. It was the real deal, with a shot of mezcal in it and all.
I spent the afternoon at the very impressive Museo de Archiologie. I ran through it, so don’t quiz me, but it gave me a great overview of the various Mexican civilizations. The visuals are mesmerizing.
So far, what I love most about Mexico is the mysticism that permeates life, art and culture. From the Mayan cultures to present day, the people here live close to their dreams. It was too late when I shot shot this street art – a huge, magical, twisted image that loom over Reforma - but it sums up what I have found so inspirational.
Dinner was also amazing, at Azul where they were having a molé festival. Then off to bed; we leave early tomorrow for the workshop in the jungle.
This morning I spoke at the Industrial Design College at UNAM, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. I showed my work and talked a bit about what I hope to accomplish on the Mayan Workshop. The school is just beautiful - a classic industrial design program with equipment to match. It is arranged around courtyards so each of the studios are light filled. Light is a beautiful part of life in Mexico City.
A few students took me on a tour of the school, and I wish I had seen more. The buildings around the design school embody the 20th Century Mexican social program. Education, architecture, and art for the people!
The students bought me some chips with hot sauce.
After which I had a very nice lunch with the faculty.
After which I went back to the hotel to rest up.
I’ve got much to see in Mexico City tomorrow.
I arrived in Mexico City yesterday for the Mayan Design Workshop. I will be leading a workshop in the jungle next week, but we will start here in Mexico City with a talk at UNAM, the school sponsoring the project. I had the afternoon and evening free to roam. I love Mexico City. Its low there are some moments of real beauty. It’s relatively clean and the people are very nice. It is also a City of deep, complex culture so I made my way to the wonderful Palacio de Bellas Artes to see the Diego Rivera murals. Its an incredible building (please note the gay couple walking arm on shoulder - the Latins, surprisingly, have this figured out).
The inside of the building, finished later than the outside, is an art deco masterpiece. The world needs more murals. I liked the Riveras, but loved the Tamayos. You can see one on the second floor there. He was never on my radar, but the colors, in person, are subtle and sublime. He is a master of black.
In the evening I was invited to the home/studio of my friends at DFC. I know them from the design circuit and they are truly two of the most creative people I have ever met. Mauricio on the left is a Guatemalan industrial designer, Tony on the right is an Australian graphic designer. Together they are a total mashup.They met in NYC and came down to Mexico for access to the craft production and a more laid back lifestyle. This image does not do them justice, but that money god figure they are standing behind has cut crystal eyes.
They are in the process of setting up a factory in the City and moving their home, but the current apartment is inspirational. Tony’s office is a graphic wonder.
The glass collection in the dining room is mesmerizing in front of a stained glass window.
The ceramics collection on the coffee table in the cobalt blue living room just barely survived the tail of their new two year old dog. It contains much of their work, like the terra cotta snake cupcake on the left.
Mexico City is a feast for the senses. I’m looking forward to day two.
I am embarrassed to say that it took me this long to visit my good friend Davids Weeks new store. But last Thursday I finally made it down to Walker Street. I thought it was in Tribeca (no excuse), but its actually just south of Canal in the area that for years was where you went to buy art supplies - Pearl Paint, Space Surplus Metals, Canal Rubber. I hated trips down there as a student, fighting the crowds on canal, carrying all my supplies back on the subway. It was exhausting.
The block that David is on still has some old-school flavor. The dark storefronts reminded of times when Totem and the original Dune store were the only life down there.
Davids space is warm, and refined, and filled with beautiful design.
Everyone was there, including Kimberly Oliver, below with David.
And the color-blocked gals - from l-r, David’s famous daughter, Rae; famous wife/designer, Georgie Stout; and famous lighting designer, Lindsey Adelman.
Right now David is sharing the spotlight with wire-artist Rodger Stevens. Brass and Leather is the theme and its definitely worth the trip.