Friday, May 31, 2019

2018 Oaxaca, Mexico, with Michael deMeng, Day Five and Six

Dream Monsters and Alebrijes: deMeng de Los Muertos

October 23rd to November 5th, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018

I decided to sleep in until 7:30 a.m. today so after breakfast it was into the workshop rather than taking a morning walkabout.

Today's workshop lunch was at one of my favorite restaurant (name forgotten) as it has a great gift shop with cool masks.

Back in the workshop, we worked until 5:00 p.m.

We gathered in the lobby at 6:45 p.m. to cab it over to a artist's cooperative that was having an open house.  We got to visit with the artists before seeing a dance performance.

I walked by myself to the zocalo where I met all my friends at El Jardin.  For thrills, Michael decided to pay someone to electrocute him.

Then we walked up the Alcala and joined in the party.


When I got back to the hotel, I was able to set my clock back one hour because it was that time of year.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Today after breakfast the group jumped into two vans to begin our tour to Aztompa.


Often when on vacation and being transported, I do a series of photos I call "Out the Window.". This is the first opportunity on this trip to explore what you can see in Oaxaca from a tour van, and here are the results from the first batch.

Aztompa is a suburb of the big archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca, Monte Alban.  As that city grew and people need housing, the Zapotecs and Mixtec expanded in the region.

Our guide

After Aztompa, it was time for more out the window shots.

This advertising had an embedded mirror so I focused on the reflection.

We moved to a near by village to visit the studio and home of alebrijes maker Armando Jiménez.

Armando Jiménez 

In Armando's house

We said thanks and goodbye to everyone

Time for some more out the window shots.

Lunch today was at a huge outdoor restaurant called La Capilla. The grounds are as much a museum as they are a place to eat.

Sue decides to just have an appetizer for lunch 

You never know where you will find an assemblage

Even the normal can be art

Now we were off to visit a potter.

At the black pottery.

On the way home, it was time for more out the window opportunities.

When we got back to the hotel we stumbled onto parade preparation right across the street.

That night I wandered over to the park to catch the Magna Comparsa. I cannot describe what this is like except it is part Cirque du Soleil, part Mardi Gras, and part Day of the Dead.






After dinner with Marilyn Werst at El Fogincita, I walked up to Iglesia Santo Tomas Xochimilco for the nightly festivities.

A very small local comparsa.

In the church's zocolo, there was a fireworks tower set up. In America, this would not have passed any safety requirements that we apply to our fireworks displays. More on this later.

In the zocolo of the church, the fireworks company put on a very personal fireworks display. A person grabs what is a combination of pinata and fireworks bomb and then runs around the zocolo scaring the crap out of everyone. When he shows weakness, another runner runs out and grabs the exploding pinata away from the first guy. It is chaotic, loud and slightly dangerous. 

I stayed behind a barrier of people, one of whom was my buddy Sue whose showed no fear. K.D. and I stayed a few yards back but even then at one point K.D. told me her hair was on fire. Really, her hair was on fire. 

Sue, unafraid, cell phone up

Then, after we were all terrorized by the personal danger of fireworks, the company set the tower alight.

After all of this all day long, it was a short walk home and another night's rest.