Tuesday, July 15, 2008

thinking of the diva of neomexicanismo

my first full day in mexico city and i was fully blown away by a great exhibit. i walked to mexico city's centro histórico and tucked behind el templo mayor is el antiguo colegio de san idelfonso, a colonial building of learning since the 16th c, until it was converted to a museum. there i saw two exhibits, both great, but i focus on the second, entitled pensando en ti, a retrospective of julio galán's paintings, almost two years since his untimely death. mexico city is pensando en ti's second stop, as one blogger noted, last year it opened in monterrey, where galán was partly raised.

walking through the retrospective was as if layers of fine gauze were being slowly lifted to reveal the sadomasochistically tormented soul of julio galán, whose paintings have been tagged, including by him, as excessively autobiographical. his paintings from the 1980's--part of the neo-mexicanism wave that began to gain notoriety due to ironic playfulness of mexican nationalist iconography--have been credited with the renovation of mexican art. below, "mientras me despierto" from 1985.

his extravagance, or his histrionics (both in the self-portraits or on camera) as raquel tibol labels his world, continued from the 1980s to the new millennium. the retrospective contains galán's work from 2001; beyond the painting being used for publicity, pensando en ti's last paintings reveal a galán more and more obsessed with his queer persona. el universal kinda agrees.


La Tweetie said...

I saw this JULIO GALAN exhibit last November in Monterrey, it was fantastic! I never heard of him before and I became a fan. I think more people should know about him. I purchased the museum catalog-book and it was worth every penny. I am sorry that he passed, but his beautiful artwork lives on.

La Tweetie

laura g. said...

hola la tweetie:

wow!! you have the exhibit's catalog, how lucky. they didn't have it at the museum (yet?). i looked online and it seems that they only printed a limited number of copies. you are lucky! i join you in being turned into a galán fan b/c of this exhibit.

William A. Nericcio said...

god i wish i was there to see the exhibit and hang! i understand we'll be collaborating on a book project soon! how fortuitous and unexpected--ay que mundo chiquitito!