We have a new art critic - Drake Lovelace - who will make the rounds and comment back here on MazReal and decide once and for all who we think deserves to be labelled creative artists in old Mazatlán. The reason so much average or absolutely awful art gets promoted is that no one seems to understand what criticisms are; if nothing is properly criticised, mediocrity triumphs. A critic is basically an arrogant bastard who says, "this is good, this is bad" without necessarily being able to explain why. The truth is, we feel this stuff in our bones and therefore feel we are right. Of course, by being so blunt, we run the risk of vilification. But we are just trying to be honest.
Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can only be explored by those willing to take risks." said Mark Rothko the great American Abstract Expressionist and an art walk itself should also be an adventure. I am that new critic who has been paid vast sums to spend time in this fine city of Mazatlán to walk the art walk incognito and drink beer in the local bars. On the art walk I have come across one or two local artists who can be labelled creative and adventurous and mysterious and in the words of that great essayist, critic and poet Paul Valéry, “To find is nothing. The trick is to add to what you find” and the Mazatlán artist Lucila Santiago is a great finder. She also knows how to keep a sense of mystery to keep the viewer fascinated.
Her latest on-going project is called ASTILLEROS – Shipyards. This particular shipyard owned by Strategic Marine Australia is off the road that leads out to the airport and here they built 50 metre aluminium boats for PEMEX used for oilrig to shore personnel transport and next to it a smaller yard with two bright red tugboats sitting onshore undergoing repairs.
Picasso said “A green parrot is also a green salad” With it he meant that an artist who copies the scene in front of him diminishes its reality and blinds himself to the real scene.
Lucila Santiago sees things otherwise and these wonderful paintings from her recent exhibition Astilleros reinforce that idea.
Unfortunately I have come across many artists on the art walk who are more than mediocre and are in fact downright awful. More about them in further blogs. In the meantime I, Drake Lovelace, will be touring the studios and establishments of fine art in Europe brushing up on the knew talent and casting an eye over the old masters while the Mazatlán art scene closes its' doors for the Mexican summer. Let us hope there is some intense creative activity going on behind those doors and under those brain chilling air conditioning systems.