It’s possible to be so mesmerized by the contemporary art of Oaxaca that you stumble from outdoor market to gallery to ceramics co-op in a daze. But when Juan Alcazar sees us gape-mouthed in front of his studio he just wipes his hands on his painter’s smock and invites us in for a tour.
He tells us his culture holds that a spirit animal is born at the same time we are, and he paints the moment, later in life, when we meet and recognize each other. His women have haunting, elliptical eyes and their skirts hide shadowy jaguars or swarming bees. But it is a painting of a red bull charging through wind-bent trees that we can’t walk away without. There are no walls to hang paintings in the Avion, so we find the nearest DHL and ship it to Gary’s mother in Wisconsin. Before we become too attached.
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