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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

La Mano Grafica Gallery: Exhibition Review

Our Mexican correspondent Judy attends a local exhibition in the middle of avocado fields... and finds the artwork on display surprisingly similar to that found across a global art scene.

Written by Judy Elizabeth Wilson

CCATNB Waves

Having been blown away by their previous EP, ambulance seek I had high hopes for the lovely Oxford bunch, information pills and from the outset CCATNB’s sound has aged with distinction, price and like a good wine, they seem to have gotten better with time. Waves opens with their current single Jungles and Tides, there is a familiar tone to their now recognisable style-keys driven with an up tempo dose of guitar and drums. The track marks a slight departure from their previous EP Panic which saw CCATNB become established as one of the UK’s most promising bands to shine for a while.

YouTube Preview Image

God Knows is classic CCATNB, and defines the EP as their well oiled sound that goes down a treat at their live gigs. For fans of Supergrass and 90s indie rock, a time not long past, yet apparently forgotten, it’s a pleasant reminder of how the independent music scene used to sound before things all got a bit emo, and the music was lost somehow. Sub-Rosa I believe is the crescendo of the EP, drawing the mind and ears into a reflective tone, with beautiful key led melodies that show Coombes’ skill and passion for a narrative, and his unparalleled understanding of how to make a track clutch at your senses, without the overload. The track holds the band high above the many, many faceless guitar bands out there at the moment. Keys it seems, and honest soul filled vocals are a good thing. Molly harks a heart that can’t be ignored, and brings the EP to an all too quick end, reminding me why many bands don’t compete with the New Breed.

Currently on a UK tour with two EP’s under their belt and a strong fan base, the question is, when will we see an LP?
CCATNB Waves

Having been blown away by their previous EP, viagra 60mg I had high hopes for the lovely Oxford bunch, and from the outset CCATNB’s sound has aged with distinction, and like a good wine, they seem to have gotten better with time. Waves opens with their current single Jungles and Tides, there is a familiar tone to their now recognisable style-keys driven with an up tempo dose of guitar and drums. The track marks a slight departure from their previous EP Panic which saw CCATNB become established as one of the UK’s most promising bands to shine for a while.

YouTube Preview Image

God Knows is classic CCATNB, and defines the EP as their well oiled sound that goes down a treat at their live gigs. For fans of Supergrass and 90s indie rock, a time not long past, yet apparently forgotten, it’s a pleasant reminder of how the independent music scene used to sound before things all got a bit emo, and the music was lost somehow. Sub-Rosa I believe is the crescendo of the EP, drawing the mind and ears into a reflective tone, with beautiful key led melodies that show Coombes’ skill and passion for a narrative, and his unparalleled understanding of how to make a track clutch at your senses, without the overload. The track holds the band high above the many, many faceless guitar bands out there at the moment. Keys it seems, and honest soul filled vocals are a good thing. Molly harks a heart that can’t be ignored, and brings the EP to an all too quick end, reminding me why many bands don’t compete with the New Breed.

Currently on a UK tour with two EP’s under their belt and a strong fan base, the question is, when will we see an LP?
1.paintings-skulls-la mano
La Cream Galeria Collective.

November in Mexico. The Day of the Dead celebrations still leave their mark in the wilting wreathes of marigolds adorning graveyards in the Purépecha towns round Lake Patzcuaro. And La Mano Grafica Gallery in Patzcuaro opens a show entitled Dia De Muertos 2010; featuring painting, treat graphics and wood engraving. Superb prints by Mexican print maker and artist Artemio Rodriguez line the walls, sildenafil an artist who spent some time living in L.A.

2. welcome

His work is modern in subject, yet is crafted very much in the style and fashion of Posada, the engraving master 100 years his superior that I wrote about previously here. In fact some flying monsters on the glass wall appeared to be taken from Posada’s Mundo Insolito series of prints, but they were in fact Rodriguez’s. Forgive my ignorance.

3.creature-mural-posada-window
Painting by Niño. Window stickers by Artemio Rodriguez.

4.artemio-revolution
Artemio Rodriguez.

Artemio Rodriguez incorporates on-trend street styles, rendered occasionally bizarre since many of his characters are skeletons. There are also a mix of prints from other artists that feature imagery from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 – men on horses complete with rifle and sombrero. A mural of Janitizio, the bigger of the islands in Lake Janitizio is painted between ceiling high skulls; if you like murals I recommend that you check out the muralists; Juan O’Gorman, David Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Riviera.

5.skull painting-guadalupe-woodcut-revolutionary-etching
Mural of Janitizio, Guadalupe wood engraving and etching of a revolutionary.

I particular like a series of small square canvases featuring psychedelic skulls, dolls, and skeletons doing their make up. One of these little canvases completely threw the exhibition out of context and right out of the country. Why? At that moment in time I could have been in a gallery in London or any other global artistic hub. The piece was a wooden owl painted with multicolour stripes, sat on a mini shelf and mounted printed wooden board. Nothing strikingly unusual – except it led me to ask: Why is a graphic gallery tucked into the heartland of sleepy avocado fields showing this particular low brow style of art? Global aesthetic trends, it seems, infiltrate everywhere. Everybody wants to be part of the scene.

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The owl by La Cream Galeria Collective. A grave traditionally decorated by loved ones with marigold petals in Patzcuaro.

And why not? Human civilization’s demand for information is well documented. Books and engraving fulfilled our desire to distribute information in the earlier days. The technique of engraving gave us a method to mass print, mass inform and thus communicate ideas. Many artists used engraving or a form of screen printing to create images for newspapers and magazines reporting the drama of the day. The Illustrated London News is one example of this. Back in the 20′s El Chango, one of my favourite Mexican artists Illustrated for the magazine Revista de Revistas. Posada is another magnificent artist most notable for his excellent illustrations, again worked by engraving steel plate.

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Guadalupe.

When the photographic revolution hit the young media industry, newpapers, magazines and posters containing illustrations switched to photographs with fewer printed illustrations. Engraving has evolved and today holds a niche in the fine art and illustration markets. Our sentimental fondness for the classic techniques of the past will not let engraving become obsolete and many artisanal techniques have been appropriated by artists who frequently return to local mythology and folklore for inspiration. The keepers of these stories are the cultural representatives of their country.

8.artemio-eden-insect-make up skeleton-innocent creatures
Artemio Rodriguez.

At the same time these artists connect across countries, fusing into international collectives who make use of photoshop, flash, illustrator, pixels and vectors to create a recognisable look… a wave of monomania sweeping through the global art scene, travelling at broadband speed. These artists create artworks that are strikingly similar despite an ocean or mountainscape between them.

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Selection of prints by the entrance.

I don’t think that preserving cultural traditions and arts is necessarily either good or bad – although of course it’s wise to understand our historical footprints – but it’s interesting to note this intercontinental collision of local and global culture in the year 2010. Even in the avocado fields of Mexico I cannot escape the art styles of our big cities.

All images courtesy of La Mano Galleria.

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