Wanderlust: The Yucatan
In October 2015 I spent ten days exploring the Yucatan, Mexico. With the opportunity to slow down and observe another culture, new to me, I could speculate about daily life, outside of my own. I sat in parks, restaurants, street corners, bars and bus stops filling sketchbooks. I walked for miles taking photographs, with no artistic plan in mind.
Upon returning home, several qualities stood out in my memory. First where the gorgeous hand painted floor tiles, that in this region seem common place, but to me stood out as a special characteristic. The hundreds of vintage looking VW Bugs (which where manufactured in Mexico until 2003, as the Vocho model) that reminded me of my childhood, riding in a ’74 Super Beatle on the California highways. The layers and layers of visible deteriorating paint, on homes and buildings that could be viewed as disrepair but to me seemed like abstract paintings representing years past. Finally there were the graveyards with peculiar shrine like grave markers that I have never seen elsewhere: commonplace to the locals and a representation of daily life past.
With this material fresh in my memory (and my camera) I set out to work on a series of visual depictions of a culture I merely had snap shot witness to. Over the following year, three bodies of work emerged: The Bugs of the Yucatan – VWs coupled with floor tiles, Histories – peeling house paint joined with grave makers, and A Remembered Visit, which was in progress a year after returning from the trip. After that much time I felt disconnected from Mexico and decided to use an earlier painted Mexican tile pattern with flowers I recently photographed while visiting my childhood hometown in California, joining a region that I have become a visitor to with a region that I will only ever be a visitor to.