Thursday, February 23, 2023

Surreal, Geometric, Colorful

Those three words... surreal, geometric and colorful... describe the art of Okuda San Miguel which is currently on display at the "Frontón" México in Mexico City.

I had never heard of Okuda San Miguel, and I had to do a little research.  He is a Spanish painter and sculptor and is considered one of the leading contemporary artists in Spain.  The exhibit, called "Metamorfosis", is the largest that he has presented, and everything was created on site in the "Frontón México".

The "Frontón México" is an art deco building built in the 1920s as a sports facility for jai alai games.  During its heyday, it attracted the cream of Mexico City society as well as international celebrities (Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, to name a couple) who came to watch and bet enormous sums on the jai alai matches. The "frontón" closed its doors in 1996 after the workers went on strike.

After years of neglect, the building was restored, and its doors were opened again in 2017.  Not only does it host jai alai games once again, but it also houses a casino and spaces for exhibits, concerts and private events.

Currently, the building is covered with murals that give you an idea of what Okuda San Miguel's art is like.  (I am not sure if these murals are permanent or not.)

Before you enter the exhibition hall, you are given slippers to put over your shoes.  This is to protect the floor which is painted with Okuda's designs.

There are no titles or explanations for the pieces on display.  Even though I am not generally a fan of contemporary art, I found it all to be quite interesting albeit bizarre.

There was a large, mirrored kaleidoscope into which you could enter.


Finally, there is an enormous skull which is actually a house, with a kitchen and living area downstairs and a bedroom upstairs.

The exhibit runs through March 11th.

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