Saturday, May 18, 2013

Putnam in the park

Here's some shots of John Putnam's ceramics 
on display
at the Riverside Art Walk

So  much of the environs
is reflected
on the glazed surfaces
of these pots

Monday, May 13, 2013

Julian Martinez Part II

As mentioned here , I first saw a Julian Martinez statue in the deep, narrow urban canyon
 north of the Wrigley Building.

His common Latin name is impossible to Google,
 and late 20th C. public figure sculptors are under the radar of academia,
 so it was hard to learn much about him.

But now another very accomplished sculptor,
 John Houser
has filled me in on more of his story,
 and pointed out a few of his other major monuments,
including the Fisherman in Guarymas, Mexico.

That's quite a statue --
it's not surprising that it seems to have become something
of a tourist attraction.

As John wrote:

he was born in Sevilla, a recognized prodigy who was invited to draw the king as a child. In 1939 ,when he was about twelve, he arrived in Morelia, Mexico by boat with a group of civil war orphans from Spain. his parents were alive but separated, his father fled to France and I am not sure about his mother but believe she remained in Spain with relatives. Julian was adopted by a woman of culture in Mexico city. Later he apprenticed to a German portrait painter , I don't recall his name, in Mexico city, who had studied in Paris alongside J.S.Sargent in the atelier of Carlos Duran. As a kid, Julian also assisted Diego Rivera on some of his murals.

In these formative years Julian also spent time in Florida and New York where an uncle was a well known physician. He also lived in Guaymas for a period and was a friend of Peter Hurd. They liked to sing rancheros together.

Here's his controversial statue of Pancho Villa in Tuscon.

(according to this web site it may have originally been a statue of the actor, Wilfred Brimley. )

As Houser also noted,
Martinez had a great sense of form,
 evident from just about any angle from which his pieces can be seen.

His future reputation will be established
 when art historians finally get around
to distinguishing the wheat from the chaff
in late 20th C. public figure sculpture.

 John has also drawn my attention
to this ambitious statuary group
in Mexico City
entitled "El Mestizaje"

 It symbolizes the creation of the Mexican people
from the joining of Spanish and Indian blood.

Unfortunately, it was often perceived
as representing the brutal Spanish conqueror, Cortez
with his Indian consort, Malinche
and their son,
so it was relocated
to a less conspicuous setting.

 As always,
Martinez's modeling
is strong and deft,
but I'm not sure
about  the piece as a whole.

Hopefully, I'll eventually get to see it one day.